Some are wondering how to differentiate financial aid scams from the actual financial aid or whether the information they’re receiving is correct. There are various ways to tell whether or not you’re going about the financial aid process correctly. Please watch out from the following schemes:
Don’t pay for FASFA: There are several sites/companies that are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education that are out to pull scams on naïve families. There are sites that will offer their help with the FASFA application for a fee. FASFA stands for FREE Application for federal student aid; therefore you should not pay any fee. If you want FREE help contact the financial aid office at SUNY Oswego, the FAFSA’s online help at www.fasfa.gov or the Federal Student Aid Information Center. Always remember the FAFSA url has a .gov in it.
“I’ve got aid for you; give me your credit card or bank account number.” Never give out your bank account number or give away your credit card number to any website or company, make sure everything is legitimate. By giving out your information you put yourself at risk for identity theft. For more information about financial aid fraud or to report fraud contact the Federal Trade Commission.
“Buy now or miss the opportunity.” Companies would try to pressure you into believing that their company could offer you the best service at a small fee. Don’t pay for information that you could find for free. Companies are out to get your money and they would find any angle possible. For free sources of information you can visit SUNY Oswego’s financial aid office, library’s reference section, or visit SUNY Oswego financial aid website: http://www.oswego.edu/financial
“Click here to claim your scholarship.” Have you ever received an email saying that you earn a scholarship but you never applied for one? Scammers are becoming more creative with trying to get money out of your pocket. They’ll say something in the lines of “Click here to redeem your scholarship” or “Congratulations, just a few more steps to receiving your award.” Companies are trying to get you to pay to “retain” your award/scholarship. Don’t fall for it, trash the email!
These are just some of the scams that are circulating around the web, there are plenty more. Be smart when you’re applying for financial aid and searching for information or a scholarship. If you have a question don’t be afraid to ask. For more information please contact the links above or call and/or visit the financial aid office.
206 Culkin Hall
SUNY Oswego 7060 State Route 104 West
Oswego, New York 13126
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am – 4:30 pm