Scholarships & Grants
Don’t Get Scammed
Avoid financial aid fraud
Avoid scams and paying for free services when you’re searching for scholarships, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and sharing your personal information.
Don’t Pay for Help to Find Money for College
Commercial financial aid advice services can cost well over $1,000. You might have heard or seen these claims at seminars or online:
- “Buy now or miss this opportunity!”
- “We’ll guarantee you’ll get aid.”
- “I’ve got aid for you, give me your credit card or bank account number.”
Don’t give in to pressure tactics and never give out such information unless you know the organization is legitimate. This puts you at risk for identity theft.
Try These Free Sources of Information
- A college or career school financial aid office
- A high school or TRIO counselor
- Your state grant agency, find yours here.
- Organizations related to your field of interest and study
Don’t Pay for the FAFSA
Several websites offer help filling the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that you get for free elsewhere. The official FAFSA website is at fafsa.gov, and you can get free help to complete it from:
- Southeastern Illinois College’s Financial Aid Office.
- The Federal Student Aid Information Center (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-4-FED-AID)
If you are asked for your credit card information while filling out the FAFSA online, you are not at the official government site. Remember, the official FAFSA site address – fafsa.gov – has .gov in it!
Report Financial Aid Fraud
A company charging for financial aid advice is not committing fraud unless it doesn’t deliver what it promises. To report financial aid fraud, contact: