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Financial Aid Scams: How Not to Get Scammed On Your Way To College

NEVER PAY for information about college financial aid!
NEVER PAY to apply for federal financial aid!

How Do You Know Which Offers Are “Scams” That Should Be Avoided?

  • Organizations that say they can help you locate more aid and then charge you a fee
  • Anyone who charges you a fee for information about financial aid
  • If they charge you a fee to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • If they charge a fee to receive financial aid

Watch Out for “Scams” Like These

THE SCAM: “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
THE TRUTH: No one can guarantee your scholarship before it is awarded.

THE SCAM: “You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
THE TRUTH: Everyone has access to the same information.

THE SCAM: “We need your credit card information to hold your scholarship.”
THE TRUTH: You should never have to give this information to legitimate providers.

THE SCAM: “The scholarship requires a small fee.”
THE TRUTH: Never pay a fee to get a scholarship.

THE SCAM: “You are a finalist” for an award you never applied for.
THE TRUTH: If you did not apply, it is not a legitimate offer.

THE SCAM: “Come to our seminar and we’ll show you how to get more financial aid. You only have to pay a small fee.”
THE TRUTH: This is a sales pitch. Don’t pay for information that you can get elsewhere for free.

Where Can You Find Free Information About Financial Aid?

  • Talk to the financial aid administrator at the college of choice
  • Ask your high school counselor
  • Apply for federal financial aid at FAFSA.gov
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Managed by the San Antonio Education Partnership