Scholarships Part 2: Ways to Detect Scholarship Scams

By: Bryan Lee, UHEAA

Scholarship Part 2


Here are some examples of first-hand evidence for you to detect scholarship scams. Now you can be your own investigator to crack the suspense of “am I being scammed?”. Your mystery to investigate legitimate scholarships can be reliable with these information below.


Billing information


When you apply for a scholarship and if you see a section on billing information, you may not want to proceed with the scholarship. You don’t have to pay any fees to receive or qualify for a scholarship.


No contact details


If you can’t find a legitimate phone number, email address, and/or location to contact the scholarship provider, you may want to rethink about applying for  that particular scholarship.


No qualifying criteria


“Open to everyone!”, is usually a red flag for you to stop and validate the legitimacy of the scholarship. Applicants usually apply with a personal statement (essay), portfolio, application form, and references. If you don’t find an application with few questions and claims that you will receive a scholarship, that’s when you have to be careful—don’t be a victim of identity theft.


Receiving a scholarship you didn’t apply for


It is unusual for a legitimate scholarship to call, text, or email stating that you have been awarded a scholarship—especially if you didn’t apply for it. Be extra careful if it asks for personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank information.

Be careful when you open an email from an unfamiliar scholarship you didn’t apply for because it may be a phishing scam targeted at students.


“We’ll do all the work”


Don’t be fooled when a scholarship provider claims that they’ll do everything for you. You— the applicant—always have to do the work to win a scholarship. Yes, it’s free money but you need to earn it based on specific scholarship requirements.