College Preparation

5 New College Scholarship Frauds To Look Out For

[fa icon="calendar"] May 10, 2017 4:39:00 PM / by Robert Brinkman

Robert Brinkman

Scholarship Money.jpg

With so many families looking for scholarship money to offset today's huge tuition bills, it's more important than ever to know the facts...

You see, the number of scholarship frauds and scam are ever-increasing, and the tactics used to separate families from their money have taken on new levels of deception. Knowing what to look for and how to avoid these scams can be your greatest protection.


Is the scholarship company making "too good to be true" claims?

Some college scholarships go as far as to claim they're sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, government agencies, or specific colleges or universities.

In fact, we've seen many fraudulent scholarship companies use names designed to trick families into believing they're federal agencies and organizations. (A common tactic is using a Washington, D.C. address to "appear" official and gain people's trust.)

Use great caution here, because no government agency endorses or sponsors any private organization. In short, the bigger the claim, the faster you should turn away. But if you do think the free scholarships are legitimate, by all means investigate their claims.


How long has the company been around? Does the company have proof of past winners it will share with you?

Most scholarships have been around for some time, and if they're legitimate – they'll answer your questions and provide records assuring their legitimacy.

(Note – not all "new" scholarships are frauds, but you should always ask new companies for references, and get as much factual information up front as possible.)


"Unclaimed Scholarship Money"

This tactic involves the scam artist marketing some huge amount of money – often in the millions or billions – that went "unclaimed" the previous year. Do not fall for this! Truth is, there's not a single legitimate scholarship search that has ever published a list of unclaimed scholarships.


Bogus application fees

Some companies will ask for "application" or "processing" fees, often citing very convincing reasons for doing so. The reality is, true loan and college scholarship resources will never ask for money up front. Bottom line: You should never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship.


"First Come, First Served"

This approach baits families into believing they'll increase their chances of scholarship money if they're among the "first in." This couldn't be any further from reality. Most times, it's a trick designed to get people to act quickly and impulsively. Legitimate scholarships simply don't give preferential treatment on a first-come, first-served basis.

The bottom line is, if it smells like a scam, there's a reason. Never be afraid to ask questions, get claims in writing, and do your research. A little extra diligence and some common sense can go a long way to protecting your money.


You won’t find this anywhere else in the college planning space…

It’s an “inside look” at your college funding situation with an authorized college funding advisor – absolutely free.

I’ll help you figure out where you stand… including whether or not you can lower your expected family contribution (efc) – and maximize your eligibility for financial aid. 

Contact me today to set a date and time for the call.

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Topics: College Funding, Prepare for College, Planning for College, Scholarship Funding

Robert Brinkman

Written by Robert Brinkman

Rob Brinkman is the Founder of Safe Harbour Retirement, LLC and has been an Advisor for 31 years, opening his first investment firm for Edward Jones in 1987. He has been a Registered Principal and Executive for one of the largest Investment/Insurance companies in the world. He speaks Internationally and was selected by Jim Collins, author of the New York Times Best Selling book Built to Last, to panel his pre-release of the again Best Selling book Good to Great. For the past decade Rob has been focusing on mentoring and coaching business owners and the high net-worth on how to leverage their success more toward a life of meaning and significance. An expert with tax and investment issues, he writes blogs and produces video ‘white boards’ for numerous websites every month.

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