December 16, 2019

Fake Scholarships

Have you ever come by a deal on the Internet and thought to yourself “Wow, this seems too good to be true!”  Then, your suspicions were confirmed that the $10 bike you were looking at was actually being advertised if you bought their $300 monthly subscription to Home Cookers Anonymous.  This of course, is an exaggerated scenario, but it smacks true of many fake scholarships out there.  Lets take a look at the motivations for posting fake scholarships that ensnare good students like you.


Why Post Fakes?


One of the most prevalent reasons to firms and other marketing agencies posting fake scholarship opportunities is to snag your good name and information.  Of course, this might not cost your any money whatsoever, but you end up wasting your time and become frustrated when you are spammed with advertisements afterwards.

Your information is highly coveted by marketing firms, and only saying that they can provide you with a scholarship is one way to get you to give up a lot of your personal info.

Also, the tantalizing thought of free, easy money is one of the best ways to get people to “pay” for it.  Some fake scholarships really give people the run around when they ask a “monthly fee” for the opportunity to apply to “exclusive” scholarship offers.  You end up paying your good hard earned cash for the ability to either find scholarships that others can easily find for free, or you get nothing at all.


How To Spot a Fake


One of the best ways to spot a fake is by running a review of the scholarship listing service.  Many times, people will talk about them on review sites or blogs (like this one), and they will warn of their unethical activities.  Also, if it feels too good to be true, then it probably is.  The last thing you want to do is take someone at their word.

Also, you should never, never, NEVER have to pay to apply for scholarship money.  Never in the history of reputable scholarship firms have students had to pay to apply to certain scholarships.  If the scholarship (or scholarship list) to which you are applying asks for any amount of money, then they ARE NOT what you are looking for.

The concept is simple.  If a scholarship asks for money, then that means you have a hand in holding up their business.  Now, if they are in the business in “giving away money” which is exactly what a scholarship is, then why are they asking for your money.  The inherent business plan is upside down, which means that their business plan is probably not the “giving away money” kind.


Spotting a Fake


Overall, the best way to keep from going with a fake scholarship is to trust your instincts.

Do not trust them if you cannot find a name or address of the people running the scholarship office.  If there is no more contact info than an email, then you are probably being given the run around.

Also, if you find that the address comes from California or Florida or ESPECIALLY outside the US, then there is a good chance that it is a fake.  If it is not listed on a reputable website, you might need to do some extra checking.

Besides that, EVEN IF the scholarship is listed on a website that accompanies other legitimate scholarships, don’t always just give it the go ahead.

Last, make sure that if you ask them a question, they get back to you within 48 hours.  If they don’t, then it means that they might have moved their office, or they have a sleepy office.  These are two indicators that they are running a “fly-by-night” operation, and no real scholarship fund has ever been one of those.