Financial aid programs are very supportive of students especially low-income earners who are passionate about developing their careers. Most financial aid programmes offer amazing scholarships. But, scammers offer too-good-to-be-true scholarship opportunities as well. How then can African students avoid scholarship scams? Let’s find out.
1. Reject upfront Fees
Any form of scholarship that requires you to make some payment is a scam. Scholarship programs aim to give money to support student education so totally avoid paying for scholarships in whatever form. Feel free to blow the whistle if you find any organization doing such.
2. No Essays
Scholarships traditionally demand to know why a student deserves an award and how they see themselves in the future. This is revealed through writing essays but most scam scholarships do not require such information. They tend to make the process too easy to be real.
3. Guaranteed scholarships don’t Exist
Any company claiming to offer you a guaranteed scholarship is a guaranteed scam. In reality, there are no guarantees when it comes to scholarships; they are awarded based on merit. If scholarships were guaranteed, student loans would not be needed.
4. Avoid Dodgy Offers
Do a quick check on unprofessional-looking organisations claiming to offer amazing scholarships. If you receive emails from unknown sources, check them out. It could very well be a scam. This is one of the best ways African students can avoid scholarship scams.
5. Applying through third Parties
If the application procedure requires you to apply through a third party instead of through the organisational web site, be cautious. You don’t want your personal information falling into the wrong hands. Similarly, if there are no deadlines, you want to double-check to be sure it’s legit. Bottom line: If a scholarship sounds too good to be true, be cautious.
6. Irrelevant Information
Most scholarship programs ask for personal information; transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and even financial information for need-based scholarships. There are also criteria for eligibility which are relevant to candidate evaluation. If the information requested from you is irrelevant to the award, dig deeper to see if it’s a scam.