How To Avoid Student Aid Scams


"They all should be free, that's the way the system is meant to work. It's the free application for Federal student aid, the FAFSA.  With an emphasis on "FREE."

-John O'connor, College Selection Facilitator at NCHS

As another school year comes to a close, many high school and college students are busy investigating options for college financial aid for the coming fall.

Whereas many students turn to FAFSA for financial aid, some search for additional options. And in that case, there are a few things to look for to make sure you're receiving assistance from a credible lender.

First, you'll want to avoid lenders that charge an upfront fee. Authentic lenders don't charge an initial fee, but instead they'll deduct any processing fees from the check before the student receives it.

Second, if you choose FAFSA for financial aid, make sure to double check the web address reads "fafsa.edu.gov."

Lastly, when it comes to scholarships, look out for claims stating that "everyone is eligible"... Most scholarship programs will look at student's transcripts and community involvement during the selection process. Also, there should never be an application fee when applying for financial aid.

John O'connor, the College Selection Facilitator at NCHS says, "they all should be free, that's the way the system is meant to work. It's the free application for Federal student aid, the FAFSA. With an emphasis on "FREE."

If you attend a scholarship and financial aid seminar, it's important to not feel pressured into paying for services on the spot. Instead, it's best to take your time and see if you can find another service free of charge.
It's important for students to complete their applications as soon as possible. The deadline for college admissions for the fall semester of 2014 is May 1st.
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Follow Tony Cedrone on twitter @tony_p_said


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