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San Diego State University

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Avoiding Scholarship Scams

Image: No ScamsQ: I received a letter/flier/email offering me a scholarship search and guaranteeing a scholarship for a small fee. Should I take advantage of this?

A: There are a number of free online scholarship search tools and services. Some of these are listed on our Scholarship Resources page.

Be careful while searching. If a scholarship asks for a fee or asks for your social security number, you may want to research the scholarship more before applying. Most donors provide free scholarship information and application materials.

  • Important: We do NOT recommend that you pay a membership fee or application processing charge to search or apply for any scholarship.

The U.S. Department of Education offers good information and tips on how to spot a scholarship scam.

Scholarship scams

BEWARE of people or organizations wanting to charge you for a scholarship or financial aid search.

  • Scholarship and financial aid searches and applications should always be free!