College is just around the corner for many kids and most will have questions about how to fund this endeavor. Savings, student loans, grants and scholarships are all part of covering college fees, but scholarships can provide great benefits because unlike loans, scholarship payouts do not have to be repaid. Free money essentially — provided you put in the time and effort to search, research and apply for them.
When researching and applying for scholarships, be wary of unscrupulous hacks attempting to swindle unsuspecting college bound kids and their parents under the guise of scholarship services. Detecting bogus scams can be tricky, but the FTC has a list of warning signs to help you steer clear of scholarship cons. Avoid scholarship services that claim any of the following:
- “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back”
- “You can’t get this information anywhere else”
- “I need your credit card or bank account info to hold this scholarship”
- “We’ll do all the work — for a fee”
- “The scholarship will cost some money”
- “You’re a scholarship finalist” in a contest you never entered.
- Out of the blue “You’ve been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive a scholarship”
Finding suitable scholarships takes time, but the reward can be cold hard cash you can use to cover some college fees. Check out the following reputable resources for researching scholarships: