The premise of FASFA, as the first abbreviation denotes, is to extend free financial help to needy learners. FAFSA is not totally scam proof.
Before we start with anything else, Here’s a good article by department of education on college scholarship fraud issue. If you are applying for college or know someone who is doing, this article can be an useful resource for you.
A visit to the official FAFSA site also gives you a few resorts of preparedness. It exposes some of the circuitous means that lead students or parents to deceit via their applications for FASFA. Now, the official point of view is that not all scams are illegitimate on the surface. They only become so in cases where they do not meet their promises.
Here are two major scams with information on how to get prepared for them.
Student Aid Contracts
Unlikely as it seems, the trade with FASFA applications has taken root. It involves stakeholders who coerce learners that they can get aid on a contractual basis. They require one to enter their details and then send a lump sum to secure free passage through all semesters of the given year. This might not be completely against the grain when the perpetrators do, indeed, secure the contract for the parent and child. They can, however, breach the promise any time.
Here are ways to prevent this:
- Register only with the proper educational authorities in your federal State or county.
- Always seek the counsel of the school board or monetary adviser on the proper channels to follow to get this form of sponsorship.
- Know that there are many sites on the Internet that have shortcuts to FASFA but they are not always honest in their execution.
- Seek guidance when applying on the web. Though this is the most secure and the easiest, it is not always foolproof. Many third-party agencies have infiltrated the funds. Ironically, some of them are even legitimate educational bodies.
- Finally, easy does it: do not just enter the target phrase ‘FASFA’ into Google thinking that you are in safe hands. It can lead to a copycat site to that of the government at one’s peril.
Then there is direct scam in FASFA that one should be aware of at all costs. These come in form of applications. The perpetrators take it to mind that there is nobody monitoring their activities since they are like any other site online. They offer shortcuts to learners with promises of first-hand consideration. They also pose as officials who can easily secure the student’s name into the final shortlist. How to prepare for the advent of these crooks?
- Never disclose banking data to anyone who is anonymous. You can be sure that typing the word FASFA will generate tens of suggestions. Each has some ‘authoritative’ element that it employs to secure support. In most cases, this includes close personal information such as account data.
- In case one has already disclosed the data, it is essential to get in touch with investigation authorities and the particular financial institution to block access to outsiders.
- As often happens, school authorities sometimes fail to give proper advice about the application procedure. They take it for granted that it is mandatory to provide personal contacts and such in order to make it to a shortlist. This is why one should seek other means that are different from those in the hands of the school’s personnel. This aids a student to know more about proper applications.
- Finally, it is essential to pay a courtesy call to a government site that is dedicated to exposing such scams. It also provides incentives on how to prepare for such occurrences that sometimes just have to occur.
FAFSA for fee scam
This is more bad business practice than scam. At official site, FAFSA can be applied for free of cost. Where as sites like fafsa.com charges fee for the same service. You can get by looking at the Link (or, URL) of the page.
Practice – This site is starts with onecentatatime.com and then individual pages have the page name appended to it. When you apply for FAFSA, look at the link on your browser address bar, instead of .com, look for .gov. If it’s not .gov it’s not official site. Don’t pay when you are asked to.
Prepare by Knowing More About FASFA
How do you get to learn more about student financial help? It only takes a few clicks through the official site to know all about this grant program. It provides the due process from start to the finish and from it, one can glint other information that copycat providers do not have. These include:
- When applying legitimately for FASFA, one will never come across information that advertises how to hasten the so-called complicated and lengthy procedure.
- Secondly, one should know that third-party providers do not always have an announcements section on their pages.
- It is also proper to read between the lines because, often the copy of the print is the same, but actions differ between government-based and scam-based offers.
It is the hope that one has obtained a few insights on how to separate the beans from legitimate and illegitimate student aid offers. This will help learners to prepare better and reduce the expenses that come from hoodwinking and trickery.
Readers, do share your experience with FAFSA application process where you were scammed or faced an attempt of scam. Let this be an important page for people fighting against FAFSA scams.