WV Attorney General Warns Of Scholarship Scams
In a press release dated August 17th, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urged students and parents to be cautious when pursuing scholarships.
Rising seniors and current college students applying for scholarships need to be cautious of any scam that exploits those looking for help with the ever increasing costs of tuition and housing.
Attorney General Morrisey said “Scholarships are major accomplishments for students. There are many legitimate scholarships meant to award academic ability and talent. But there are also websites and organizations looking to manipulate families paying for college.”
Scholarship matching services represent a popular scam and involve websites that guarantee or claim to find qualifying scholarships for a fee. Other websites may require money to access its scholarship resources.
Parents and students should be wary of both as online databases and websites exist for free.
Students should research scholarships before applying by talking to a guidance counselor, academic adviser or the offering group to verify the scholarships is legitimate. It is important to determine the specific terms or conditions with any accepted offer.
Those seeking assistance should also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to receive federal and West Virginia aid. For information and to apply for West Virginia scholarships, such as PROMISE, go to www.cfwv.com.
The Attorney General’s Office issues this advice as part of the third annual Off to College Consumer Protection Week. To learn about consumer protection efforts in West Virginia, visit www.ago.wv.gov.
If you believe you have been the victim of an online scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the Office online at www.wvago.gov.