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3 Solid Ways to Quickly Spot Fake Scholarships and Scams
Fake scholarships and scams are unfortunately increasing and oh so tempting to the unsuspecting student. Don’t miss this important information!
Unfortunately, many of those scholarship opportunities listed are click-bait designed by companies whose main goal is to get as much information as possible from unsuspecting students and their parents.
How do parents and students differentiate between real scholarship offers and scholarship scams?
To get answers, I interviewed Jessica Velasco, owner of JLV College Counseling, and asked her a very similar question.
Jessica, how can students and parents tell if a scholarship is real or just a scam to gather (and later sell) student information?
Her answers were spot on and too good not to share with my blog readers:
- If it costs money to apply for a scholarship, it is most likely a scam.
- Consider the website, if there are spelling or grammar errors, it may be a scam.
- Review the website to see if it feels legitimate. Follow your gut and if something seems off, it may be a scam.
Here on how2winscholarships, I frequently receive messages from companies and organizations offering college scholarships to students. They ask if I would help spread the word about their scholarship opportunities with my blog readers.
Lately, I have noticed a sharp increase in shady or questionable scholarships, mostly because of the information obtained after going to the page that shares the scholarship guidelines and requirements.
These pages are filled with grammar and spelling errors and just seem iffy to me. No matter how great the scholarship sounds, I will never share or promote questionable scholarship opportunities on my website or Facebook page.
Fake scholarships are NOT welcome here!
Just like Jessica’s advice, I caution parents and students to not waste their valuable time applying for scholarships that show signs of being scams.
A few more red flags to watch for are those scholarships that require student social security numbers or sites that guarantee a student will win a certain amount of money (usually for a fee). Click away from these sites and only apply for scholarships that seem legitimate.
How about those “Honor Societies” that send out letters to students that are “carefully selected and chosen” to join?
Could they contain fake scholarships?
While not exactly scams (these actually are real businesses), they require a fee to apply for a CHANCE at winning their scholarships.
Here is the biggest red flag of all when it comes to “Honor Societies” (NSHSS being one such company – National Society of High School Scholars)
Pets receive these letters! Yes, that’s right. I’ve read it over and over in various high school and college parent groups.
My dog…Sammy Bo Bammy. He gets an invite every 6 months.
Or parents, yes, those of us in midlife…
I graduated high school in 1979!! My daughter started getting this about a year ago and I get one at the same time!!
Also, young children.
My second grader received a letter saying he was chosen and invited to join the National Society of High School Scholars. He isn’t even in high school yet!
Mainly students, but it doesn’t seem to matter if they are worthy of academic honors.
Had a friend that dropped out after Junior year with a 1.8 gpa, who got the “exclusive invite” letter for “excellent academic standards.” We had a good laugh at that one. Not legit.
I strongly recommend that this letter is tossed into the trash if it arrives at your house!
You may also like to read: Do NOT Pay to Apply for College Scholarships3 Solid Ways to Quickly Spot Fake Scholarships and Scams Click To Tweet
Have you ever come across a scholarship opportunity that seemed like a scam? What are your thoughts on “Honor Societies” such as the NSHSS? Please share in the comments section below!
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets and more, have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.