As much as you are trying hard to lay hold of a scholarship, it is important to inform you that anything that has original also has counterfeit. Due to the economic hardship and greed, people come up with fake scholarships information and application form for sale. Students who do not thoroughly verify will unfortunately fall into the scheme and get duped of their little resources. Therefore, here are some ways to identify scam or fake scholarship.
1) When you are asked to make payment: As earlier stated, scholarship is aimed at helping students ease of the great financial burden while studying. Therefore, any organization that want to help reduce your financial load will never request payment from you for application. But in some cases, there could be middle men who could help you with the application (for those who are not computer literates or lack facilities for the application) and in turn, demand a service fee. Yet you must be informed that organizations will never demand a fee from you for application. So, run away from any organization that demands an application fee before or during application.
2) Sponsors are unknown or not specified: Every scholarship must have a sponsor. Most time, sponsors do not hide their identities. You might hear some say that “the sponsors of this scholarship do not want to be made known for some reasons”. Be careful, there are tendencies that it’s a scam. For example, you see scholarships adverts like “Apply for Federal Government Scholarship”, it simply means that it is sponsored by the Federal Government, MTN foundation Scholarship is sponsored by MTN and so forth. Therefore, never take the risk of applying for scholarships that has unknown sponsors.
3) No specified deadline: Every scholarship must have an application deadline. For example, companies that run promos never do it for a lifetime. Every promo has a start and end date. In like manner, scholarships must have deadlines for application. So, any scholarship adverts that claims that you have all the time to apply is not genuine.
4) No web link for application: We are currently in the era of pervasive computing and as such, everything has gone digital. Organizations (local, national and international) now runs their own website irrespective of what the product or services may be. Therefore, every scholarship must have a website link through which applications can be submitted and information verified.
5) Unclear information on the scholarship: Every genuine scholarship provides clear information as regards their offer. The information to be made available for every scholarship includes but not limited to; name of sponsor, opening and closing date, eligibility, requirements etc. Ensure that these information are clearly spelt out before you apply, else, it is a scam and fake scholarship.
6) When such information is not specified on the organizations’ website: Since every scholarship has a sponsor, and most or all the organizations that sponsors scholarships have a website, the information must be published on the website. So, when you hear of any scholarship opening, go the sponsors website to check for information on the scholarship before applying. If an organization does not provide information on the scholarship that they are providing, then I do not think any other person or organization has the right to do such. There could be some cases where the sponsors could outsource the application to a third party organization, yet they should provide information on their website.
7) No contact information: It is also noteworthy that every scholarship should have contact information. This is to enable applicants clarify their doubts on some issues. Therefore, when there is no phone number or email provided, then beware of them. Also, it does not end in providing contact information, but make sure that the contacts are active and working. If it is a phone number, your calls must be answered. If it is an email, you mail must be replied. If you send a mail to the email address they provided and after 3 days (except during weekend) it has not been replied, then you must be careful. There are tendencies that it is a fake scholarship.
8) Untrusted websites: Also verify the website that avails such information. We have scholarship blogs coming up daily, and to stay on top of the game, many of them publish scholarship information that are not true. All they want is their money thus could do anything to make it. So make sure you verify the source of your information. Any scholarship that is available on only one website is a fake scholarship.
9) When you are requested to send you details to a private email: Another important point to note here is that your application should not be forwarded to a private email address. If an individual whom you know wants to give you a scholarship, all he needs to do is to hear from you and see some of your documents. If he requests that you send your documents to his private email address, there is no problem with that. But for a scholarship that is opened to many people, your application should not be sent to a private email address.
10) When you are offered a scholarship you never applied for: Some people could act funny be sending you a message that “you have been offered a scholarship, therefore for more information call the following number”. Did you apply for that scholarship? If no, it is a fake scholarship. If you call the number, you will be asked to pay a certain amount to process the application, which I listed as the number way to identify a fake scholarship. If you applied for the scholarship, then the next question is “did you undergo all the stages in application such as writing examination”? If you applied but have not written the examination and you get such a message, then be sure that it is a fake scholarship. Halt the process there.
11) When you are given a full assurance on the scholarship: The last point I want to make on how to identify a fake scholarship is that scholarships are not opened to one person. Every applicant has equal chances. Therefore if there is any scholarship in which you are been promised with a 100% assurance that you will gain it, beware of fake scholarship. There are rules and guidelines to be followed to win a scholarship and you must follow them if you want to indeed win a scholarship.