Every year, a large number of students choose to apply for scholarships worldwide. These scholarships provide a convenient alternative for students who find it difficult to continue their higher education due to the rising cost of academic expenses.
Although there are many scholarship opportunities available nationally and internationally for students, there are a few pitfalls you should watch for. Some offers can exploit the hopes of students seeking scholarships.
This article highlights some of the things to look for as a student to make sure the scholarships you’re applying for are legitimate. This article also contains the guidelines to avoid such scams.
The Cash Up Front
Fake scholarship advertisements are full of demands for an initial cash payment. For instance, a student will either be asked to pay an application fee to process the application or advance academic donations to improve their chances for selection. If you see these scholarships being offered, think twice. There are typically no fees required to process a scholarship application. Don’t ever make any upfront payments and be wary of such impositions unless you are sure of the scholarship’s authenticity.
The scholarship process for the majority of academic institutes consists of a transparent screening and shortlisting of eligible candidates. This is done to make sure that the selected candidates are the ones who deserve to get the scholarship. There are no guarantees in this regard. Therefore, if you come across any promises or guarantees while filling out a scholarship application, don’t buy into it.
The search for scholarships can be accompanied by free invitations for more detailed information. You will either be asked to attend a seminar, a webinar, or a candidate interview with someone. Usually, authentic scholarship offers don’t require any of this and all the information is openly displayed on the institute’s website. If a student is asked to attend any events, watch out for requests to buy into a financial transaction that is made to look like a scholarship.
There is no such thing as paid exclusive access in case of the genuine scholarship announcements and every student is given access to all the scholarship related information on an equal basis. Also, academic institutes rarely charge for any such information. So if anyone claims to provide you with additional access to the information about the scholarship, don’t take them up on their offer since it is most likely to be a scam.
How to Avoid Scams
While the people behind fake scholarships will keep attempting to misguide students and illegally earn money, one needs to be wary and follow these suggestions while exploring scholarship opportunities:
- Choose the most authentic scholarship websites that do not contain any of the problematic schemes discussed above.
- Go to official websites of the respective institutes to find out whether there is a scholarship offer or not.
- If the official website of the particular academic institute doesn’t show any such information, contact them personally by phone or the email addresses given on the official website to inquire about it.
- Don’t make any payments unless you have double checked everything and you are sure of the authenticity of a scholarship offer.
A genuine scholarship accepts applicants on the basis of their academic credentials, and not by advance payments or attending seminars. Students should make sure that they don’t get lured in by such attractive offers, which might result in the loss of time and money.
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