Don't Pay for Help to Find Money for College
(or, "spend the Time, not the Money"..you do not need to pay someone to look for Scholarships)
Commercial financial aid advice services can cost well over $1,000. You might have heard or seen these claims at seminars, over the phone from telemarketers, or online:
- "Buy now or miss this opportunity." Don't give in to pressure tactics. Remember, the "opportunity" is a chance to pay for information you could find yourself for free. HHS has a list of free sources on its website
- "We guarantee you'll get aid." A company could claim it fulfilled its promise if you were offered student loans or a $200 scholarship. Is that worth a fee of $1,000 or more?
- "I've got aid for you; give me your credit card or bank account number." Never give out a credit card or bank account number unless you know the organization you are giving it to is legitimate. You could be putting yourself at risk of identity theft. For tips on avoiding identity theft, see "Save Your Identity."
- "Millions of dollars in aid go unclaimed every year; don't you want some of that money?" The "millions" usually represent an estimated national total of employee benefits or member benefits—available only to the employees or members (and their families) of the companies, unions or other organizations offering the funds.
- You don't need to pay someone to help you find out whether your parent's company or association offers financial aid!