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Scholarships: Don’t get ripped off.

One of the things that frustrated me the most during my decades as a high school counselor was seeing students and parents be ripped off by scholarship scams. It drove me crazy to have them come to my office and tell me they’d gone to a “seminar” over the weekend and had paid crooks hundreds, and often thousands, of dollars who claimed they’d help them get a scholarship. The invitation to the “exclusive” meeting would come in the mail, and is full of praise as to how “special” the student is. The fact is, the scammers buy mailing lists and have no idea as to the academic credentials of students. Over the years, many high school dropouts with GPAs of less than one brought those letters to me because they wanted to know why they’d gotten them.

Here are some things you need to know about searching for scholarships.

Never pay money to anyone for scholarship information. Everything you need can be found for free on the internet. Here are some code words scammers use. When you hear/see these, run away.

“The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
” You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
” I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
” We’ll do all the work.”
” The scholarship will cost some money.”
” You’ve been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive a scholarship” or “You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.

Here are a few legitimate websites for scholarship searches and tips:

And everyone should be using www.upromise.com. It’s a program that everybody can use to help pay for college.

Check back next Monday for tips on how to earn scholarships.

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