Financial Aid Scams
Beware of financial aid offers that seem too good to be true.
Any organization that asks you to pay a “refundable processing fee” is probably not legitimate.
Some commercial financial aid companies charge $1,000 or more for their services, and although they may guarantee you’ll get aid, they will consider their promise fulfilled if you are awarded a $200 scholarship. Is that worth a $1,000 fee?
- They will say, “We’ll do all the work for you.”
- They will say, “You are a finalist for a scholarship contest.” No program awarded by the ASU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has criteria that resembles a sweepstakes or other contest.
- They will tell you that you have won a college scholarship worth thousands of dollars, but require that you pay a “disbursement” or “redemption” fee before they can award your prize. If someone says you have won a prize and you did not enter the contest or submit an application, be suspicious. You do not have to pay a disbursement or redemption fee for financial aid at ASU.
- They may point out that you are not able to find this information elsewhere. However, many sources of financial aid information exist, including your high school guidance office, the ASU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and state and federal government agencies.
- They will offer you a low-interest educational loan, requiring you to pay a fee before you receive the loan. When you pay the fee, the promised loan never materializes. At ASU, loan origination fees are deducted from the amount paid toward your account.
- They will say, “You must provide your credit card or checking account number.” If you are asked for this information in exchange for “free” financial aid, you may be agreeing to terms and conditions that allow the company to charge you for certain services or items. The ASU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will never ask for a credit card or checking account number.
- They will say, “We will guarantee a minimum of $500-$5,000 in financial aid money to you.” A private company cannot guarantee you will receive funding because they have no control over the federal and state aid requirements.
- Be cautious at financial aid seminars. Take your time and never pay anything. Investigate the company and call the ASU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to report a possible scam.
- They will send out letters that appear official and have Angelo State University on them, requesting you fill out a profile form. All of the information ASU needs to award financial aid is collected from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and through RamPort.
- If you have any questions about a suspicious offer, call the ASU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 325-942-2246.