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Financial Aid Scams

When applying for financial aid, be aware of scams. Some organizations imitate different types of college providers, using government- or professional-sounding names. These scams usually ask you for money, or ask you to attend seminars to learn more about their programs. Others tell you you’re guaranteed to win their scholarships, or claim an outrageous success rate, such as “everyone wins.” This claim could be due to the fact that they can find you financial aid in the form of loans.

Obtaining a scholarship or grant should not cost you money, should not require you to attend a seminar, and can never be guaranteed. Also, be cautious if a program requests unusual personal information, such as a bank account, credit card or Social Security number. And if the source does not offer a phone number or street address, or if you’re leery about one's qualifications, it's probably not a good idea to use their services.

Learn more about financial aid scams at the Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams page of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information website. One way to learn more about the company in question is to search for available information on the Internet by using one of the numerous common search engines.