Safety Against Scholarship Scams: Actionable Items

Finding the right online university to host your online degree is not an overnight task. Looking for funding, financial aid or scholarships entails a lot of research and online applications. Our target is to guide you with actionable items to prevent you from scholarship scams.

  1. Software protection
    This is applicable not only because you plan to apply for scholarships online but is also a requirement of all operating systems. Updated Anti-virus and anti-malware software are necessary to protect you from potential data breaches or data corruption.
  2. Fee and Free.
    All scholarships have eligibility requirements and have an application procedure. It should not request for your credit card information for whatever reason, nor should it charge you of any fee. How ironic would it be if you find yourself saving money for college through scholarships that apparently is requiring you to pay? Some would say it’s a small price for a potential bigger gain. Scholarships are not a gambling opportunity. It is depended on academic performance and other important criteria, set by the provider.

    In contrast with this, all scholarships have a selection process. Almost never does a university host a raffle-style of scholarship or a scholarship where all you need to do in order to qualify is to fill out a form and submit your information. If you do, consider doing the succeeding suggestion regarding the main school and online school.

  3. Main school and online school
    Online universities are normally affiliated with another university, usually, that of the same name. Researching on the history of the university will help ensure that you?re looking at a legitimate education provider who can provide you the online education you need. Registered educational websites normally use a .edu extension rather than .com. Their official email addresses are usually of the same extension and they will never send you a mass message (email that has undisclosed recipients on the To line) after you?ve sent an application. There is also a phone number that you can use to confirm the website and the emails you are receiving if you are wary. Maximize all the information you have and do not let it go to waste.
  4. Third party providers
    Scholarships may be given or funded by the state, non-profit organizations or groups for marketing purposes. A lot of posers and fraudsters use this to lure you into their scam and eventually steal your information. Ensure that you have checked the provider?s address and phone number to confirm the validity of their campaign.
  5. What ifs.
    Nobody would like to think about the potential scenario that you are already scammed but being knowledgeable, or being one step further, always help you be prepared. Contingency plans should always be available to prevent any delay or issues in meeting your goal. In the event that you have already shared your personal information, consider the following:

    • Contact your bank to report that your account information is compromised. This may mean potential change of account information for security purposes, be prepared for that process. Banks will focus on ensuring account security and will not leave you hanging. They too would like to prevent fraud, and this includes investigation and participation with law enforcement to catch the perpetrators.
    • Inform credit agencies of next steps as regards potential identify theft. Normally, they set up alerts to notify you if someone is trying to request for information or if there have been attempts to apply for an account without your consent.
    • Consult a PC expert. In cases where a potential data breach is identified, it will be best to back up important information/document on an external hard drive and be prepared a potential reformat. Reformatting means deleting all content/data of your device and reinstalling all of its software.
    • Backtrack your steps and immediately change your password on any of the accounts you?ve used that may have been exposed. Use a different device for this step to ensure that you are not exposing yourself to further damage. Email is usually the first one included in the change if this happens to you.

Remain vigilant in finding ways to protect yourself against scholarship scams. Do not stop looking for the best online university for you, the right online degree and the scholarship that will help you secure your online education. There are risks but if you have taken our actionable items, you are going to be prepared to handle them.