ip target image
You are currently browsing our site with content tailored to students in your country

Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.
The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

Scholarship scams! Beware!

Every year many of students looking to study abroad are targeted by unscrupulous people looking to scam those unaware. We want to give you a few tips that might help you to identify those fraudulent situations.

share image

Every year many international organisations, universities, charities and other funding bodies join the international effort to provide resources for those who most need it. But as the need for funding to study increases, so will opportunities for scams, mainly in the context of the internet. Hotcourses Abroad wants to warn you on those risks on the web.

As costs for funding increase, the need for scholarships and bursaries is greater everywhere. International organisations have been committed to the challenge of providing to brilliant pupils that seek to pursue education abroad. In many cases the first point of contact is via internet as general info, application details and other requirements are posted online.

However, increasingly in America, there are reports of ‘scammers’ that pose as scholarship providers. Each year around $1 million is lost to people to fall for these scams. U.S. News & World Report warns international students applying for scholarships in the United States never to pay when searching or applying for scholarships.

“If a scholarship search engine or application asks you for a credit card or other financial information before you can use it, stay away,” added the report.

As we do not want anyone to fall for this due to lack of information, please keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Having to pay

Legitimate scholarships providers will never charge you for your right to apply to a scholarship. If words like ‘cost’, ‘purchase’, ‘redemption’, ‘fee’ and ‘payment’ are lurking around the description of the scholarship, then chances are it’s not real. Contests and sweepstakes should be read carefully. Also, ignore any emails that promise you funding in exchange for a cheque or a deposit.  

  • Look out for trigger words

Scammers will often include official logos from governments, banks and education-based institutions to accompany their emails when they target you.

So how to determine which foundations or funding organisations are legitimate? Try to contact the sponsor or run a search online to find out more about the organisation that is mention. Check for specifications on eligibility, application procedure, due dates, etc. Legitimate scholarships offer all this information to make the process fair. 

  • Asking for personal information

For many international students it is common to hand over personal information as part of the application process. However, you should never provide any personal information such as your bank details, a passport number, credit or bank card PIN numbers or any other kind of identification that can be used for fraud.

If you encounter any scholarship that sounds might switch your ‘danger alarm’ on, you can always check with your educational advisor or with the university you are applying to and they will be able to guide you.

  • Try to get all your correspondence in writing

Try to keep track of all your communications with the sponsor in writing, so you don’t jeopardise your opportunity to study abroad. Try to keep your prospective university informed of these communications so they can help you during your application process. Be careful with responding to unsolicited ‘opportunities.’ Genuine scholarship bodies will have a website where everyone can access their application process in an equal manner.


Read more

You can find more info about scholarship scams in this article about Finding Financial aid.

If your student loan money has run out, small bursaries can also be most helpful to boost your budget!

Consult our list of funding opportunities following the link.

Must read

article Img

10 Study abroad struggles you’ll face (and WILL overcome)

1. First night panic attack You’ve arrived in the country and are slowly unpacking in your new accommodation when it hits you: ‘I’m an actual international student....and I’m so, so far away from home. Why didn’t I just stay at home to study?’     Solution : Go and meet new people! Everyone will be away from their friends and family on the first night, so you’ve already got something in common. You’ll likely be the most

article Img

8 Mistakes students make when packing to move abroad

‘Moving overseas for your studies will probably be the biggest event of your life so far. There’s so much to plan for and so much to do. Luckily, I’ve been in the student removals business for a number of years (and I was also once a student in the dim and distant past), so I’ve picked up a few tips on what to do and what not to do when packing your things before shipping off and embarking on a big adventure abroad.   If you’re moving home in pursuit

article Img

Bumper guide to mental health for international students

Pursuing a course in further education is a new and exciting time for many young people around the world. You have the chance to develop as an individual and take advantage of unique opportunities. However, it’s also likely to be the first time you move away from home, stepping out of your comfort zone and fending for yourself. So, your time in higher education could also be very challenging.   According to a recent NUS survey , 80% of students in UK

article Img

An introduction to travel insurance: Q&A w/ USI Affinity Insurance

Every year, thousands of college students embark on the adventure of studying abroad. With so many things to keep in mind such as where and what you will study, how much it costs, and how you will get there, a question that is frequently overlooked revolves around student health insurance (also known as study abroad insurance).   If you are a student or scholar planning on traveling outside your home country to pursue your education, health insurance