Scholarships and what you should look for

Rules of Thumb

1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Spend the time, not the money.
Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarships.
5. Nobody can guarantee that you'll win a scholarship.
6. Legitimate scholarship foundations do not charge application fees.
7. If you're suspicious of an offer, it's usually with good reason.

Loan fees. If you have to pay a fee in advance of obtaining an educational loan, be careful. It might be called an "application fee", "processing fee", "origination fee", "guarantee fee" or "insurance fee", but if it must be paid in advance, it's probably a scam. Legitimate educational loans deduct the origination and guarantee fees from the disbursement check. They never require an up-front fee when you submit the application.

Other fees. If you must pay to get information about an award, apply for the award or receive the award, be suspicious. Never spend more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarshipsand loans.

Guaranteed winnings. No legitimate scholarship sponsor will guarantee you'll win an award.No scholarship matching services can guarantee that you'll win any scholarships either, as they have no control over the decisions made by the scholarship sponsors.

Also, when such "guarantees" are made, they often come with hidden conditions that make them hard to redeem or worth less than they seem.

We apply on your behalf. To win a scholarship, you must submit your own applications, write your own essays and solicit your own letters of recommendation. There's no way to avoid this work.

Claims of influence with scholarship sponsors.Scholarship matching services do not have any control over the awarding of scholarships by third parties.

Everybody is eligible.All scholarship sponsors are looking for candidates who best match certain criteria. Certainly there are some scholarships that do not depend on academic merit, some that do not depend on athletic prowess and some that do not depend on minority student status, but some set of restrictions always applies. No scholarship sponsor hands out money to students simply for breathing.


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