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How to Avoid Getting Taken By Scholarship Scams

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By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

Gen and Kelly Tanabe can answer your question in Expert Advice.




Don't be fooled by the "Hidden Scholarship" scam.

The Pitch: "Each year millions of dollars in scholarships are not awarded. Pay us $$$ and we will locate unclaimed scholarship dollars that you can win."

The reality is that there are very few "unclaimed" scholarships. Those that are indeed "unclaimed" have such specific eligibility requirements that almost no one can qualify. Plus, you can find thousands of scholarships on your own in books and on the Internet without paying a search fee. You'll also do a much better job.




Avoid the "Scholarship Fee" scam.

The pitch: "You're a finalist in our scholarship. Pay us $$$ for your registration fee. You're guaranteed to win!"

The truth is that you are not guaranteed to win; or if you did win, the prize would be less than the registration fee. Real scholarships never require any fee from applicants.




Don't be taken in by the "Seminar" scam.

The pitch: "Come to our very informative financial aid seminar, where you'll learn our secret strategies for scholarships found nowhere else in the world."

What you get: Seminars like these may actually be sales pitches for any combination of the above promises. Not all seminars are scams or rip-offs, so you'll have to use your own judgment. However, one warning sign of a scam is the seminar that sounds like a sales pitch. If you feel like the seminar is just a live version of a late-night infomercial, you are probably looking at a seminar where you will be asked to part with your money for what may be totally worthless information. And if the pitch contains promises that sound unfathomable, there's probably a reason.




Don't fall prey to the "Loan" scam.

The pitch: "You qualify for our exclusive, incredibly low-interest loan program. All you need to do is pay us $$$ to lock in the rate."

What you get: The truth is that you would pay the fee but not get the loan. Or you might get the loan, but the interest rate could be much higher than if you shopped around. There are plenty of legitimate student loans available through the Federal Financial Aid Program as well as from established banks and lenders. Check those out instead.


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Want to know more about this topic?



The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2015

The goal of The Ultimate Scholarship Book is simple: To help you find free money. Inside you'll find the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of more than 1.5 million awards. An easy-to-use index makes finding the right scholarships ridiculously quick. And it wouldn't be the Ultimate book without a section of little known insider tips and strategies that show you how to actually win the scholarships you find!

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Pages: 752
Learn More


The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2015

1001 Ways to Pay for College

Need money for college? Stressed over how to pay the next tuition bill? Searching for a way to get a degree without going broke? Whether you need a full-tuition scholarship or a little extra cash to make ends meet, 1001 Ways to Pay for College provides students and parents with the answers.

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Pages: 512
Learn More


1001 Ways to Pay for College
 


 

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