How to Know if a Scholarship Award is Legit or Not

Education as it is becoming is the foundation of our modern civilization. It is no big news that the schools are “academic churches” that could make you “born again” and salvation- financial salvation! A certificate is one royal horse which even beggars can ride so that they no longer have the longer arm. This is why education is highly valuable in our societies- as such the cost of education has also crept steadily up as the poor look miserably as he watches his knife (education) with which he could cut himself a good slice of the National Cake taken from him. Education is going very costly; as such scholarships are valuable as the White House!


Yet we must admit that not all that glitters is gold- not all the glittering scholarships are truly golden or real! There are mouthfuls of scam scholarship being hawked around and have forced costly tears down the eyelids of the regretting many. But how can you avoid these academic potholes: these scam scholarships? Here are some signs:

1. You Need to Pay to Apply

If a scholarship organization demands payment of an initial fee before you’ll be put in for an award, be careful. Often your money vanishes. In other cases an actual scholarship is awarded, but your chances of clinching it are so slim that your application fee is an unworthy investment. Think this… a company ammases a thousand $10 application fees and then awards just one $1,000 scholarship, they’ve smartly put $9,000 in their coffers.

2. You Need to Buy Something to Be Considered

Here, as in the example above, the company is desperately profit poised. Let’s say you need to buy a widget to be considered for a $500 scholarship. If you can sell 10,000 widgets at $25 a pop, that $500 scholarship you give to someone is benefiting you a lot as regards all the people who bought my widgets.

3. You Need to Attend a Seminar to Be Considered

Scholarship opportunity could be the appetizers we get to swallow boring seminar hours. Example, a company may put up a free college information seminar at which one attendee will be awarded a miserable scholarship. The seminar, it turns out, is an opportunity to get you to consider a high-interest loan or soak in costly funds in expensive college consulting services.

4. You Won Something You Didn’t Apply For

“Congratulations! You’ve Won a $10,000 College Scholarship! Click Here to Claim Your Prize!”

Lovely, isn’t it? That’s because it kills. Don’t click. No one is going to award you college money suddenly without protocols. You’re likely to discover that the philantrophist who wants to give you thousands of dollars is truly trying to advertise, hijack your computer, or make away with your personal info.

5. The Scholarship is “Guaranteed”

Every true scholarship is highly contested. Lots of people apply, and a few people will be awarde. Any organisation that guarantees a scholarship or claims that half of applicants will receive the cash is telling you the contrary. Even the wealthiest foundations would be pedaling to bankruptcy if they award half of its scholarship candidates (or even a quarter) of applicants.

6. The Organization Wants Your Credit Card Information

If the scholarship application requests your credit card information, you could spend that time trying to flirt with the most dedicated nun- it is more productive! There is not one reason why a scholarship-granting organization would want credit card information- if there is, it is to reduce the number of zeroes in your account!

7. The Application Asks for Bank Account Information

“Enter your bank information so that we can deposit your award in your account.”

Um, no. Don’t do it. Legitimate scholarships will send you a check or pay your college directly. If you give someone you’re your account details, you may end up donating forcefully as you could find that money strolled from your account rather than gets deposited.

8. “We’ll Do All the Work”

This is another danger caution identified by the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (see their page on scholarship scams). If a scholarship application declares that you wouldn’t do anything other than give out some personal information to apply, it could be that supposed scholarship-granting entity are trying to raise an evil database!

Think about it — scholarships are awarded because you’ve practically identified yourself worthy of the award. Why would someone award you money you fold your arms around your chest doing nothing?

9. The Awarding Company is Untraceable

Lots of scholarships are awarded by small organizations that you may not necessarily be familiar with, but a little research should tell you whether or not the organization is legal. Where is the organization found? How about the business address? Is the phone number accessible? If none of this information is available, proceed with three eyes!

10. “You Can’t Get This Information Anywhere Else”

This is one red flag noticed by the Bureau of Consumer Protection. If a legitimate company has a scholarship to award, they are not going to be stingy with its details- only us could! Prevalently, the company is trying to get you to buy something, sign up for a service, or divulge a lot of personal information.

11. Places to Find Legitimate Scholarships

Performing a random web search for scholarships runs the danger of turning up scams. To be on the safer side of the fence, focus on one of the big trustworthy companies that provides free scholarship matching services for students. Here are some good places to start:

  • One of my favorites, Cappex has a spam-free interface, and you’ll locate private scholarships, college-specific merit scholarships, and college-matching services all in one place. The listings at Cappex refer to $11 billion in available money. The merit aid information is the best out there.

  • The producer of the SAT and Advanced Placement exams also brings you “Scholarship Search,” a database representing $3 billion in scholarship funds.

  • FastWeb: FastWeb has been a long-time leader in scholarship search. In 2001 the company was sold to Monster Worldwide, the parent company of job search giant In recent years, the site seems to have more ads and fewer scholarships than in its glory days.

  • Despite a few annoying pop-up ads, (like Cappex) has an impressive and massive database to deliver college and scholarship matching services for students.

You can also take advantage of some wonderful scholarship opportunities listed below (provided by : Sara Bell of Educator Labs)


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