Scholarships are one of the most essential components of higher education today. With a large demand for scholarships and an equally large supply in the form of several organizations providing it, scholarships have become vulnerable to various scams, duping needy and meritorious students off their educational dreams. Online scholarship scams have become rampant with all your information being sent to possibly dubious entities with just a click of the button. Having a robust strong digital presence and lack of digital security, students today are exceptionally vulnerable to online scholarship scams. Therefore, this article talks about various signs to identify a scholarship scam and tips for you to safeguard yourself against the same.
What makes you vulnerable to scholarship scams?
As a student in school or college or university in India, the expense of getting a decent education drives many towards various Govt and private scholarships across the country. This has led to an increase in the number of online platforms promising scholarships to students, however, not all of them are genuine and trustworthy. These tough times in the past year have driven a greater number of students towards online scholarship platforms, making them exceptionally more vulnerable than ever before.
Unfortunately, I have learned the tips and tricks to avoid these scholarship scams over the years, the hard way, but I hope that my experience will help you in making the right, and informed choices to ensure a safe experience of applying to various scholarships.
Tip 1 - A little caution never hurts anybody!
While there is no doubt that the digitization of every aspect of our life made living easier and more convenient, it has also opened us up to newer threats and challenges. Online financial scams are one of the biggest and most rampant threats in todayâ€™s digital society. Refraining from all online activities is not a feasible solution, neither is ignoring the threat completely. Thus, we must tread cautiously on the web of the internet, especially while accessing services like online scholarships.
Tip 2 - tell-tale signs of a scholarship scam
In this section, I will familiarize you with a few tells take sounds to help you have a scamâ€“free online scholarship application experience.
Tip 3 - A little research in time saves a dime
Before applying for any scholarship make sure that you research it thoroughly. Visit the website or search for it on a popular search engine like Google. Make sure that more websites are mentioning the scholarship on their blogs/ websites/ apps. However, this is just the first step, to ensure that you are not being duped, try contacting the various numbers, email â€“ IDs, or social media links are given on the scholarship website to ensure legitimacy. Prefer applying to scholarships provided by well/ known or registered philanthropic organizations and cross-check the details about the scholarship by contacting the organizations. For instance, to know about AuroScholar micro scholarships, you can simply search on the web and get several credible links and contacts.
Tip 4 - self-sufficiency is the key to success
Several online and offline organizations offer to provide you services for scholarship application such as writing your application essay or filling your application form. While they may legitimately provide the services, they cannot however guarantee you success with your application, moreover, getting your application filled from a third-party service provider is against the application rules and may get you in legal trouble. As these are mostly not legal, you end up spending an exorbitant amount with no guarantee for success. In fact, you may end up losing more money as you provide your credit/ debit details to such organizations.
Further, any middlemen who claim to ensure a shortcut to application or guarantee scholarship for a fee, are definitely not abiding by the law. These middlemen can
Tip 5 - Beware of Clickbait.
Many websites or apps today thrive on the business of getting traffic on their platforms through fraudulent processes, using clickbait is one of them. Usually, they will provide you with catchy content, which may often sound too good to be true, beware of such content because the chances are that it is. Some of the popular clickbait phrases are given below:
Tip 6 - Limited period offers
Be wary of websites pushing you to submit your application in an unreasonably short amount of time. While most scholarships have a deadline for submission of applications, they generally provide sufficient time for students to apply. If a scholarship provider is pushing you to submit details in a very short time, chances are it is a fake/ fraudulent account.
Scholarship scams can be a disheartening and disenchanting experience for students who genuinely need the scholarships to fulfill their educational aspirations. This is why we hope that this post will help you steer clear of any such scams during your application process.