There are thousands of scholarships online, in as much as they may look and sound genuine, a good number of them are nothing but scholarship scams.
A lot of people have fallen victim to this scam; you can imagine how it feels trying to apply for a scholarship and realize you’ve been scammed of your little savings.
It’s as a result of this act that we put up this guide to enlighten you, so you avoid losing your hard earned money to the scholarship scammers.
A few years back a cousin of mine was asked to pay 10 dollars processing fee after submitting his scholarship application form, while on the website it was stated clearly that the application for that particular scholarship is free.
After sending a series of emails to understand the reason for the 10 dollars, he got a reply that it was for his form to undergo some sort of verifications to ensure that his application details were correct.
The question then is ‘why did you say it is free in the first place?’
The truth is that scholarship forms are free, and there is nothing like “processing fee” or whatsoever. Whenever you are asked to pay for anything when applying for a scholarship, know it’s a scholarship scam.
I will be highlighting some vital signs to detect scholarship scams, so if you see any of these signs when searching or filling a scholarship form, know it is most likely a scam.
1. Scholarship fees
Scholarships are free; if they are not free, then they are not scholarship opportunities but a scam.
Scholarship fees can come in different forms such as application fee, processing fee, acceptance fee or even immigration and flight fee.
Of recent years, the last two fees (immigration and flight) has been the way of extorting money from students by these ungodly scholarship scammers.
At first, they will make you believe every process of the scholarship by not asking for any fee, but when you get a mail that you have been offered a scholarship, they will attach a clause that says you will pay for immigration and flight fee.
Beloved, whenever you see such mail, know it’s them, the scholarship scammers.
2. Get your money back.
These guys are smart enough to pique your interest; they will make sure they do anything to lure you into their trap.
Get your money back are the catchy words and they will sound so convincing that if you are not wise enough, you will see yourself on their scammed list.
Like I have stated earlier, scholarships are free, don’t give your money to any soul in the name of securing a scholarship, because if you do, you are not getting it back!
3. Guaranteed scholarship
There is nothing like a guaranteed scholarship; if you apply for a scholarship, the committee that is in charge of the scholarship will screen your application together with thousands of students that also applied, before selecting the eligible ones that meet the scholarship requirements.
Saying that a scholarship is guaranteed is same as saying that every student that applied for the scholarship will get it, which is a big lie.
Every scholarship has a specified number of students that will be fortunate to get it and not all the students that applied.
So whenever you see the word guaranteed scholarship while checking out a scholarship opportunity, simply ignore that very listing and move unto the next one.
4. Confidential Information:
When filling or reading a scholarship form and you are asked to provide confidential information such as bank account or related financial details, be very careful, it is most likely to be a scam.
Apart from the scholarships for developing countries that are offered to students from a poor financial background with high academic performance (e.g., The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship), most scholarships requesting for bank information could be a scam.
Legitimate Scholarship forms are meant to have necessary personal information and not confidential information like your bank account number, etc.
5. Scholarship Seminar.
“Scholarship seminar” is just a means of extorting money from you.
Every material, product or information about a scholarship must be free and accessible.
In actual sense, there is nothing like a scholarship seminar or whatsoever.
It is either a scholarship form or scholarship exam, nothing more is attached.
Note that a scholarship exam should be in a well-known location and information about the scholarship must have been confirmed genuine.
6. Congratulations! You have been selected.
This is another set of catchy words the scholarship scammers use to draw your attention and lure you into their trap.
Because it is the exact words you want to hear and the words that may follow could also sound very convincing but if you read them carefully and start seeing some unexpected requirement for you to be accepted or move to the next level of the scholarship, know it’s most likely a scam.
However, if you receive a mail or message informing that you have been selected for a scholarship and you never applied for that scholarship, it is definitely a scam; never engage yourself with it in any form.
7. We have exclusive access, and we can do all the work for you.
First and foremost, no one has exclusive access to a scholarship, information for a given scholarship must be readily accessible if not; it is nothing but a scam.
So if someone claims to have access to scholarship information other than the one freely accessible, he or she is only trying to extort your money or something else in exchange of his or her so-called exclusive information.
Secondly, the only one that can do all the scholarship work for you is you. No individual or company can do it for you.
When you search for a scholarship, ensure it’s a genuine one, apply for it and hopefully, you will be selected. Any company or individual who claims to do all the work for you is nothing but a scammer.
Remember that these scammers are very smart, so they will find every possible means to pass most of the ways I have mentioned but if you work with your common sense, be a little skeptical, do research and ask vital questions, you can quickly figure out when a scholarship is a scam or not.