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How can I recognize and avoid grant or scholarship scams?

Unfortunately, some services falsely raise people's hopes that "free money" grants are widely available and easy to get, especially for individuals. The old adage holds that, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

The following advice can help you avoid grant, scholarship, and similar scams.

  • Don’t pay anyone who claims to be "holding" a scholarship for you. Free money should not cost a thing. Before sending money to apply for a grant or scholarship, make sure the organization is legitimate.
  • Be wary of claims that a grant/scholarship is "guaranteed or your money back". Nobody can guarantee you a grant or scholarship. Refund guarantees often have conditions or strings attached.
  • Contact the funder directly to verify a funding opportunity and its eligibility requirements.
  • Many directories of grants and scholarships are available for free online or at your local libraries. Check these sources before you pay someone to do the work for you.

See also our related Knowledge Base articles:

- What do I do if I suspect that a charity is a fraud?
- Where can I find information about grants to attend college, graduate school, or beyond?
- Where can I find help with emergency housing costs, medical bills, or personal debt?

More articles for individual grantseekers»

Selected resources below may also be helpful.

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