Millions of people depend on grants and scholarships to pay for college. Navigating the process of applying for financial aid can be confusing, and some companies claim they can help but only end up charging unnecessary fees. The Better Business Bureau recommends listening for the following red flags when receiving a sales pitch from a financial-aid finder:
- "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back." In reality no one can guarantee they will get you a grant or scholarship. The refund guarantee offers usually have many conditions or strings attached making it is almost impossible for consumers to get their money back.
- "You cannot get this information anywhere else." Scholarship information is widely available in libraries, financial aid offices and very conveniently on the internet.
- "You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship." If you have not entered a competition sponsored by the foundation, this claim is highly unlikely.
- "May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?" This is never a requirement for a legitimate scholarship offer.
- "The scholarship will cost some money." Legitimate scholarship offers never require payment of any kind.
For more information on finding financial aid for school, visit www.fafsa.gov or www.bbb.org.