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Better Business Bureau warns of college scholarship scams

Many students have already picked their school of choice, now they’re trying to figure out how to pay for it.

But officials at the Better Business Bureau are warning that scammers are targeting students, costing them a lot of money.

With college costs growing, many students look for any ways they can to save money. But officials warn that if you aren’t careful, you could be spending money that you’ll never see again.

Officials said some warning signs include any scholarship that asks you to pay money to apply since most, if not all, are free.

There’s also fraudulent businesses that target students at seminars by charging them for information that is already free.

“They promise that they’re going to get results, to pay a fee, and they say oh, if it doesn’t work and you don’t get this, we’ll give you a refund,” Better Business Bureau Regional Director Mara Clingingsmith said. “But there’s so many hoops that you have to jump through, in order to get the refund, that so few people ever get it.”

Official said you should almost never have to pay for a company to help you find a scholarship.

They said the best way to find scholarships is to ask your high school guidance counselor– as there are many local scholarships that notify school guidance counselors.

Better Business Bureau officials add that if any company ever guarantees you a scholarship or grant, it is a fraudulent company, as you are never guaranteed a scholarship.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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