Ask Anna: Avoiding Scholarship Scams

By StudyLink

Ask Anna

This month I will touch on the subject of fraudulent study scholarships. The idea of a scholarship is always an attractive one, often awarded in the form of discounts from your course fees, a scholarship could make a massive difference to your finances and make studying a lot easier to afford.
However, scholarships tend to be hotly contested and generally exist to attract outstanding students. Usually scholarships will have strict selection criteria and will involve an application process.
When planning your studies, you should always avoid third party scholarship companies. There is no such thing as a guaranteed scholarship. To successfully apply for a scholarship usually you will have to have firstly secured a place on a course.
With this in mind, any company that charges an application fee for a scholarship is likely to be fraudulent and there is a good chance that they will rip you off.
Typical scams will ask for money from you upfront for some kind of service, such as a scholarship finding service. Other scams involve charging a relatively small application fee in order to receive a scholarship. Some such schemes may even pay out an occasional sum but more often than not are run only to make a profit. Another type of scam would involve the offer of a low-interest rate loan, whereby you are expected to pay an initial fee. It is advisable to avoid any such scheme as they are likely to be run solely to take your money and provide nothing in return.
There is no harm in checking what scholarships or grants an institution offers, indeed it may even form a big part of your application decision, but it is advisable not to rely on the prospect of securing a scholarship to fund your studies.
If you feel that you meet the criteria for a scholarship you have found, then there is a good chance you may be successful in your application to receive it. Until you have successfully applied for a scholarship, do not assume you will get it!
The sensible way to approach scholarships is to research where and what you want to study, find what scholarships are available at your chosen institute(s), apply for the course(s) you want to study and then apply for the scholarships that you have found.
We have lots of articles designed to help you find funding that is available, such as our top ten tips on getting that scholarship. Please make sure to do your research and make sure you only deal with reputable institutes.

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