Scholarship Contests
Legitimate or Scams
Know the Facts

Beware of scams involving college scholarship contests!

There are both legitimate and non-legitimate contests and it’s important to know the differences between them.

There are some opportunities to win scholarship contests and sweepstakes. If you don’t mind filling out online forms and signing up for memberships and receiving solicitations, these contests can be an easy way to apply for free scholarship money.

These contests typically won’t ask you to write essays or get to involved in your past academic achievements, because primarily they are looking for you to sign up for membership to some website.

There will typically always be a catch to applying for a scholarship contest.

It’s never a good strategy to focus your energy and attention on searching out and applying for scholarship sweepstakes. Your time will be better well spent following our college scholarship service guide to a more successful search.

College ScholarshipsIf you’re feeling lucky and would like to apply to some of these contests, here are a few we would recommend.

    Wells Fargo CollegeSTEPS Sweepstakes
    Each year Wells Fargo gives away to high school seniors twenty $1,000 college scholarships if you sign up for the CollegeSTEPS program. The deadline is May.
    Sallie Mae College Answer Scholarship Sweepstakes
    They award a $1,000 scholarship monthly to students who register for their “College Answer” program. Parents of registered students also become eligible for a $10,000 annual “Parent Answer” sweepstakes.
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    They require you to pay a fee.
    They ask for information such as social security and credit card numbers.
    Their online forms are lengthy and ask for more personal information than they need.

Stay away from these types of websites.

It’s always important to remember that identity theft is a real and growing problem. There are many marketers who’ll do anything to get their hands on as much information on young adults that could be used for many legitimate and illegal purposes.

A good rule of thumb to follow when giving information about yourself on any website during your scholarship search is to ask yourself this question…

“Is it necessary for them to have the personal information their asking for to provide me with what I’m looking for?” If it feels suspicious…listen to that little voice inside your head and stay away.

It could save you years of undoing the damage that identity theft can cause.

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