Many private scholarship services provide sources of financial assistance.  If you decide to use a search service, check its reputation by contacting the Better Business Bureau or a state attorney general’s office.  You can search for scholarships yourself for FREE at the Department Of Educations website;   www.studentaid.ed.gov

Be careful when searching for information on student financial aid.  Estimates show that families lose millions of dollars every year to scholarship fraud.  The College Scholarship Prevention Act protects against fraud in student financial assistance.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions students to look for these telltale lines;

  1. “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
  2. “You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
  3. “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
  4. “You’ve been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive a scholarship.”
  5. “You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.

Make sure the information you receive and offers for assistance are legitimate.  Don’t fall prey to fraud.  To file a complaint with the FTC, or for free information, call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or visit www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.