Before You Start Filling Out Applications, Spot Check Your Funds…
There are a lot of ways for college students to get help financially when college becomes a cost factor rather than an extended education/occupational necessity. With the economy changing from day-to-day, both future students and parents have sought out alternative options for financial relief from the heavy commitment.
Let’s face it, any help is great – but there are scholarship scams out there. A good way to avoid getting enamored with scammers is to do your research prior to filling out any paper work or website forms. Your best option is to Google the company and see what types of reviews are listed on the ‘big ole’ internet. It may sound silly, but if there is any kind of feedback listed (positive or negative) it will pop up.
That being said, below are a few tips to alert you on what to look out for.
#1: The Give Money to Get Money Scam…
No legitimate scholarship is going to request a student or parent to provide them with money in order for them to help you with college. Processing fee’s or acceptance fees are generally a red flag in these cases.
Here’s what we think – if the company was warranted in helping you, they wouldn’t need you to pay them for it. That’s their job, not yours. Not what we would call legit…
#2: We’ll Pay You Big Bucks & All You Have To Do Is Send Back What’s Left Over Scam…
A more popular scam that a lot of college bound students get bombarded with is the “we’ll send you a check and when you’re done send the rest back” offer. In reported cases, a student or parent will cash the check and allocate the funds where they deem necessary. Once they’ve gone through the process and send the rest of the cash back, their bank notifies them that the check was not legitimate and they have to pay it back.
Want to know how this can even happen? Well dear Watson, due to the 90-day grace period of check transactions, you could go through the whole process and not even realize you were scammed until your headed to school. What a shock that would be, huh? Tip – stay away from these; this is also a popular one on craigslist. Meanwhile, around the world some goofball is happily drinking a brew on your dime. Not cool…
#3: The Click Around Mystery Scam…
A lot of websites and organizations make money from the links they have listed on their sites. If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, the goal is to get you to click the links on their site. For every link you click, they make money off of you from that third party resource who asked to be listed on that site.
Tip – Be wary of what you’re clicking on and if it’s anything but informative, do not provide your information. Applications are one thing, but keep in mind that the only time you should be providing your information on a website is when you are paying for a service or purchasing an item.
Despite what reviews are out there, we recommend asking the school you or your future college student is set to go to. Generally, the college or university will provide a list of recommended financial alternatives. Whether it’s financial aid or scholarship opportunities, they work closely with the professional and more legitimate funders out there. When in doubt, rely on your school for this type of feedback.
To help you get started we’ve gone the extra mile and provided you with a few legitimate options. The good news is, we’re providing these to you just to be helpful and we DON’T get paid to do it… We want you to succeed, and if that means getting help – get help from the right places and click one of the links below.
Legit Scholarship Programs:
>> U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
>> Federal TEACH Grant
>> Federal Pell Grant
As a Dorm Room Movers Author, I look forward to your comments here.