Financial Aid & Scholarships Search Sites
- Federal Trade Commission Site - The site offers suggestions on how to avoid being the victim of a scholarship scam.
- Oregon Student Assistance Commission - The Commission is the state student financial aid agency for Oregon, and it administers a variety of State of Oregon, Federal, and privately-funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education.
- FAFSA on the Web - This site allows individuals to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online.
- Financial Aid Search through the Web - Through this free site, students complete a customized profile matching students to awards, and receive email notices to keep students informed of new awards.
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators - This site provides excellent links to Internet sources of information about student financial aid.
- MACH 25 - The Keyword Search gives students a quick way to narrow down to a particular scholarship or group of scholarships. Information is entered to focus in on relevant scholarships; however, it information will not be saved at the site.
- U.S. Department of Education Site - Find everything you need to know about financial aid. This site also provides links to other information resources.
Avoiding Scholarship Scams The Counseling Department often receives questions from families regarding the legitimacy of some scholarship service programs. Here are some suggestions to avoid being taken in by a scholarship scam:
Be sure to check out the services that Central Catholic provides regarding college advising and financial aid information before paying additional money for assistance. You may also want to consult the Federal Trade Commission's web site
- Scholarship Matching Services - Money back guarantees are a tip off that the offer might not be genuine because genuine scholarship services know they can't "guarantee" any such thing. Fraudulent services go through databases of public information to get the lists and charge students a fee for a list of scholarship leads. Typical claims include, "you can't get this information anywhere else," or "we do all the work for you." Visit Fast Web for access to free scholarship searches.
- Free Seminars - Free seminars about financial aid by fraudulent groups are often disguised sales pitches for a bogus scholarship search or insurance offer. Although the seminars may be held at an official or educational facility, this does not guarantee that the company is legitimate. In many cases, the group may not be sanctioned by the institution.
- Financial Aid Consulting Services - Shady consulting services can be more difficult to spot. While there are some legitimate programs, you should be very cautious. Financial aid consultants can be helpful for families who do not have time to fill out the required forms, are unfamiliar with financial terms, or have unusual financial circumstances. If you're considering a consulting service, find out how long they have been doing this type of work and what are their qualifications (are they a Certified Public Planner or a Certified Financial Planner?). You may also want to contact the financial aid offices of schools that you are considering to see if they have had any trouble with that particular consultant.
- Eligible Scholarships - Fraudulent companies often use official sounding names that are slight variations of the names of legitimate government and private organizations, and Washington, D.C. addresses that turn out to be post office boxes. Be especially wary of companies that claim to be holding scholarships for you and ask you to provide your checking account numbers to confirm your eligibility. This information allows the company to access the account without your knowledge. In general, scholarships should not require a fee for students to apply for or receive them.
and the Financial Aid Information Page
for credible information on college financial aid.