Techniques To Avoid Spam While Looking For Financial Aid

Oct 16, 2023 By Susan Kelly

Scholarship aggregator websites assure students they can access billions of dollars in free funding for higher education. Using services like Fastweb, Cappex, and Unigo only needs an email address. Your information will be used for more than just scholarship searches after you give it out.

However, don't allow the prospect of receiving overwhelming emails from a scholarship website to dissuade you from signing up. There is no need to pay back to the scholarship provider, making them the greatest option for paying for school. Private scholarships are available even before you decide on a university.

Providing some basic information to a scholarship site will help narrow your search and find possible connections. By following these steps, learn how to use these resources beyond receiving promotional mail.

Consider If You Want To Opt-out

Scholarship sites typically allow users to unsubscribe from future emails. However, you shouldn't unsubscribe from everything. Since its inception in 1995, Fastweb has been assisting students in locating scholarship opportunities. That way, you won't get alerts regarding part-time work but will get reminders on award deadlines, for instance.

"Our goal is to keep kids aware," says Fastweb's associate content editor, Kathryn Knight Randolph. How you want to be contacted may be more broad on other scholarship sites. It may make more sense to delete communications as they arrive than to opt out entirely. Allow it in, and at the very least, give it a cursory inspection.

However, your address and phone number may still be shared with third parties even if you choose to unsubscribe from communications. Check the website's privacy policy and any relevant opt-in boxes during registration to learn more about the site's practices regarding your personal data and your choices over their use.

Variety of Scholarship Fraud

It is common for students to use a mix of resources, including financial aid, scholarships, and loans, to cover the cost of higher education. Sallie Mae's annual analysis of how the country pays for higher education reveals that scholarships play a relatively small but important role.

According to the survey, in 2017-2018, families paid for nearly half of the total cost of education with income and savings while covering 28% with scholarships and grants and financing the remaining 24% with loans.

Experts warn that students are frequently targeted by scholarship fraud. As college expenses rise and state financing for public institutions is reduced, the perfect storm of inexperience, fragility, and desperation is created.

In 2018, students accounted for 9.4 per cent of fraud reports filed to the BBB Scam Tracker, and over 24 per cent of students reported a loss after being exposed to a scam, compared to roughly 28 per cent of non-students.

Set Up A Special Email Account

Offering up your email address is sometimes a must for using scholarship search engines. Randolph assures us, "Our service is free." Working with advertising and other businesses trying to reach students is a natural part of the job, so be prepared to do so.

Nonetheless, you need not provide them with your primary email address. Make a new email address just for scholarship correspondence. It will help you maintain tabs on your applications and prevent spammers from invading your primary mailbox.

Matthews suggests using your first and last name with an optional number, symbol, or dash as the "something clean" in your scholarship email address. Please check the spam folder associated with this email address to ensure receipt of this message. Forgotten letters like scholarship acceptance announcements may wind up there.

Use A Non-Registration Site

You may be unable to save your progress or receive reminders from scholarship sites that don't require an email address, but you'll be spared promotional material. The U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop and the College Board's Scholarship Search are resources worth checking out if you'd rather keep your email address private. Five scholarship search engines are a decent starting point, but using more is better. Many alternatives cost nothing. Therefore, you shouldn't bother with paid sites.

Assess Rewards Carefully

There is a possibility that some scholarship opportunities are frauds or at least gateways to receiving spam. Grants should never be purchased. "If it starts to seem intrusive, back off. You might be able to win money through these scholarships, so they're not necessarily fraudulent.

However, they're most interested in selling your personal data. Don't do it if you don't want your name included in a marketing pool of people who did it.

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