Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 58° Clear
News >  Nation/World

Crackdown Launched On Scholarship Scams

Compiled From Wire Services

Bogus scholarship search services bilk students and their families of millions of dollars every year, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday in launching a crackdown on such fraud.

Late last month, the FTC filed charges in federal district court against five companies that the government claims stole nearly $10 million from college-bound students and their families looking for money to pay rising tuition and fees.

An estimated 300,000 students and parents fall victim every year to 100 to 200 fraudulent scholarship search services, according to Mark Kantrowitz, who has written a guide to scholarships. These companies charge a fee to find - often guarantee - scholarships or grants for students, but never do.

Kantrowitz of Pittsburgh, Pa., has developed an Internet page (http:/ / on financial aid sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and maintains a database of complaints about scholarship scam artists that he shares with the FTC and National Fraud Information Center.

“A good rule of thumb is if you have to pay money to get money, it might be a scam,” Kantrowitz said. “Ninety-nine percent of all legitimate scholarship foundations do not charge applications fees. I know of only three that do.”

The FTC cautions students to be wary of companies that claim:

“The scholarship is guaranteed, or your money back.”

“I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”

“We’ll do all the work.’

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

New health insurance plans available Nov. 1 through Washington Healthplanfinder

 (Photo courtesy WAHBE)

Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.