Students can find cash for college on the Web

Allison Smith

Evans: Be aware of scholarship scams

Last year students brought in approximately $3 million of external scholarships to Kent State through some type of source. Mark Evans, director of student financial aid, said it is expected that students will bring even more with them in the Fall 2009 semester.

However, some students aren’t taking advantage of available scholarships. It’s not because there aren’t enough scholarships to go around; it’s simply because they don’t know what’s out there.

Other database scholarship Web sites:







Sarah Stine, a freshman early childhood education major, said she considered applying for scholarships.

“I was fortunate enough to not really have to worry about that kind of stuff,” Stine said. “If my mom had pressed for it, I didn’t really think about it much.”

Evans said databases are a great way for students to apply for scholarships.

Database scholarships are Web sites where a student can fill out information about themselves and then are given a computer-generated list of scholarships they may qualify for.

“I would say that using the Internet to locate scholarships is an excellent tool,” Evans said. “One of the leading scholarship search databases that is out there is We’ve been a partner with them for probably 15 years or so.” is a free search that helps students look for scholarships globally, Evans said. There are many others out there that are in Kent’s financial aid publications and on their Web site. Evans said students can log on to the Web site to assist in locating external scholarships to the university.

While scholarship databases are good tools, students must be careful of scams, Evans said.

“Some of the indicators are charging of fee for a scholarship search. Things that you would want to watch out where they guarantee you X amount of scholarship dollars for using their service,” Evans said. “We would encourage students and families to check the Better Business Bureau online in terms of if there were any complaints filed against any of the search engines.”

Evans said that Financial Aid does have reference material for students and families on their Web site. He said the scams usually involve the student paying money for a search or assistance in finding financial aid.

An article from the Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group lists common claims in scholarship traps:

n “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”

n”You cannot get this information anywhere else.”

n “You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship.”

n”May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?”

n “The scholarship will cost some money.”

Evans said database scholarships are not the only ones out there.

“You would want a student to have their family members, whether it’s a mom or a dad or a grandparent or aunt or uncle, to see if there are any scholarships available where their parents may work in terms of their employer,” he said.

Stine said she had never heard of scholarship databases, but she was interested in them.

“I would definitely consider it,” Stine said. “If my mom asked me to, I would get my butt up on that computer and do it.”

Contact news correspondent Allison Smith at [email protected].