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Parents – Beware of Online Educational Help Scams
Wondering about student help scams? What parents and students need to know right here, right now.
When help is just a simple click away, it can be tempting for frustrated parents and students to seek assistance with homework and other assignments throughout the school year.
According to College Prep expert, Wendy David-Gaines, parents need to be made aware of the huge increase in services offering homework and other academic help online.“There has been a 250% increase in reviews for online businesses providing homework-related services over the past 12 months, according to SiteJabber today. It’s a warning for parents and the college-bound to learn the issues about online businesses soliciting homework services for a fee and the associated scams.”
SiteJabber is a consumer protection service seeking to help people find trustworthy online businesses and avoid scams via customer reviews. It was developed in part with a grant from the National Science Foundation, named a top 100 website by PC Magazine, and listed as a top 100 money move by CNN Money. They have counted a whopping 1268 reviews for online homework businesses over the past year.
As students head back to school, adjust to new routines, and feel time-pressed from an increased to-do list, many may look for assistance from online essay and homework services for both school work and college admission preparation. “While the Internet can be a tremendous tool for students to do research, get tutoring, and receive other school-help online, it also, unfortunately, provides an easy way for students to cheat and pay for people to complete their homework assignments,” Jeremy Gin, SiteJabber’s Co-Founder explains.
Online writing services cover the gamut from homework assignments to college essays to graduate school theses. “This time of year they target students including high school students applying to college,” Gin says. There are legitimate websites to help proofread and tutor but those offering to do the writing raise issues of ethics and plagiarism.
For students taking them up on their offer, one or more bad decisions may result in damage to their reputation, academic standing, and career progression.
The consequences for the college-bound submitting another’s college essay as their own can include rescinding of admission offers.
The impact on learning can be negative and the pocketbook can also suffer from scams. “SiteJabber reviewers have reported poor quality, including papers written by non-native English speakers, plagiarism, and bad grades as a result of this. Not to mention, they’re known for missing due dates as timeliness is not a priority and refunds are not offered,” Gin adds. There are many critical deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarship applications that if missed can cost families dearly in both time and money.
It is important for parents to know about the sudden and widespread presence of online essay and homework services and if their child is interested in using them. Families need to realize the pitfalls for the college-bound and the significance of good decision making. Families need to realize the pitfalls for the college-bound.
Parents can help their children develop good-decision making skills and form a team to address this and other college-bound issues.
Be sure to read: College Scholarship Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!
Unfortunately, financial aid and scholarship scams also abound online and should be avoided at all costs.
Become informed about what to look for to identify scams by reading here:
Informed parents are SMART parents. Take the time to become informed and help your students avoid being the victim of online scams!
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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 regard 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. She teaches them how to apply S.M.A.R.T. with outstanding results.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites, and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.