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Sep 04, 2016 10:32 AM EDT

College Scholarship: 9 Signs Of A Scam

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There are a lot of college scholarship programs available for almost all types of characteristics and skills. There is one for being tall, being short, being a vegetarian as well as one for duck calling. The most common type of scholarship would be for sports.

Students should look for the scholarship that would be the best match for him or her. Check the institution's requirements and specifications to see whether you are qualified for the grant. Common requirements are age or year in school, areas of study/intended major, culture, nationality or ethnicity and GPA minimums.

However, U.S. News warned about college scholarship scams that target students' dreams of earning their bachelor's degree. The publication shared nine signs to watch out for.

1. It asks you for application fees. Don't fall for scholarships that require you to give money for a "small processing fee." The provider may say that they're doing it in order to filter the "non-serious applicants" but legitimate scholarships aim to give you money, not take money from you.

2. It doesn't have a phone number. College scholarship scams usually don't provide a telephone number so that they can easily escape without a trace.

3. It is open to everyone. Legitimate scholarships only awards people who fit a certain criteria. A scholarship that is "open to everyone" does not seem trustworthy.

4. It has no history of past winners or awardees. A little research on Google will confirm whether a particular scholarship program already had previous winners. Most scholarship providers would brag about they grants that they have given out.

5. It has a fake nonprofit or federal status. It's so easy to add "Foundation" or "Fund" to an organization's name to make it sound official. However, students should be careful about this and do a thorough background check on the company.

6. It asks for your personal financial information. A legitimate scholarship provider would not ask you to provide your credit card, bank account or social security number.

7. It makes you a winner even though you did not apply for it. If you got a message from a scholarship provider about the program that you won but you haven't applied to it, it's most likely fake.

8. It offers to "do all the work for you." Applying for college scholarships requires a lot of effort, time and brainpower.

9. It has search fees on a database with information you can't get anywhere else." You can make do without this provider since there are a lot of free scholarship search engines available online.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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