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Scholarship Scams & Application Tips

It can be easy to trick students into giving up too much information in hopes of getting a big scholarship in return. Protect yourself and protect your personal information. Read about Scholarship scams and tips below.


  • Never pay for anyone to receive scholarship application materials, complete a scholarship application, or search for scholarships for you. Especially if they “guarantee” you will win one… nobody can guarantee that!
  • Never give your bank account or credit card information for scholarship searches or eligibility determination.
  • Check out these other tips on to avoid scholarship scams.
  • If you questions about the legitimacy of a scholarship, feel free to contact either the Scholarships or Financial Aid Office.


  • If you meet the stated criteria for a scholarship, apply! Many students do not apply because they assume another applicant will have better qualifications, sometimes resulting in unclaimed scholarships. For that reason, we also suggest you apply if you meet MOST (not all) of the criteria.
  • Carefully complete the applications and always have someone else read your essays before you submit them. It is important to proofread for spelling or grammatical errors, and to evaluate your essays for readability, completeness and organization. If possible, type your answers on your computer, then cut and paste them into the online application.
  • Need help writing your scholarship essay? Use your resources, including high school guidance counselors, financial aid or scholarship representatives, teachers and friends to help. Otherwise try Scholarship Junkies for help you with your applications and essay.
  • Obtain letters of recommendation from various individuals at your school identifying your diverse interests and scholarly achievements. For example, obtain one from an instructor, one from a guidance counselor, one from a coach or club advisor, etc. Scholarships have different criteria so being prepared to address their requests will increase your chances of being selected.
  • Prepare a personal statement ahead of time. Identify your strengths and accomplishments as well as your educational goals if you know them.
  • Pay Attention to deadlines! If you find a scholarship where you missed the deadline, or won’t be eligible until next year, set a calendar reminder to check back during the next application period. Be sure to write down as much information as possible so you can find it again and apply. Don’t just bookmark the page as it is not likely to be the same next time you search.
  • You should submit the best scholarship application possible, so check out these additional tips to help you win scholarships!
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