With back-to-school season just around the corner, scammers are on the prowl, targeting students in need of financial aid. The Better Business Bureau offers advice to both incoming college students who are in search of scholarships, as well as recent graduates who are trying to repay their student loans.
According to the Capital-Journal, over 350,000 students and parents fall victim to scholarship scams every year. Terms such as "Federal" or "Administration" are used by scammers in order to lure victims into thinking their organizations are legitimate. The major indicator of a fraudulent scholarship is an upfront fee. Legitimate organizations do not require students to pay in order to apply for a scholarship. To safely begin your scholarship search, seek guidance from your high school's counseling office or your college's financial aid office.
Though an offer to erase your student loans may seem tempting, be careful, because odds are this is a scam. Scammers might claim they are from a government program that forgives student loans. This is a trap, because no such program exists! In order to get savvy about student loan consolidation, visit www.ftc.gov and read the various resources they have available regarding student loans.
With the steep cost of higher education, the last thing students need is to be scammed-follow these tips to avoid falling for a phony scholarship.