Anyone know scholarship scams
My daughter is in final year of high school and we have started looking for universities for next year. One of her desires is to get a sports scholarship and study abroad, mainly in the USA or Canada.
She has been researching various colleges and universities. She then found this scholarship agency and we were invited to a introductory interview two weeks ago. They are affiliated to several universities which pay them a commission on successful placement of students either in full tuition, partial scholarship or full scholarship. They handle all preparatory work and engage with universities, assist with SATs, sports excellence coaching and generally preparedness for achieving the required standards of various universities and scholarship programmes.
So we were both excited. They indicated that they charge a fee for the facilitation as they take away the tedious work of individual applications and numerous and varied requirements. So my daughter had to write a short motivational essay. A week later we received the "Congratulations, you have been admitted to the Scholarship Programme"
In order to secure this great opportunity you need to fill in the forms of acceptance and
1. pay the facilitation fee of R17600 (approx $1366).
2. To secure your place you have to a deposit of R6200 (approx $476) with 14 days.
This is a one time offer, you cannot get an extension or get an opportunity to reapply. Thereafter you should pay the balance within 30 days of the deposit or choose a payment plan of 3, 6 or 12 months to pay the balance.
3. If you are successful in getting a scholarship awarded, you will then have to pay placement fee of R8000 (approx $615) within 30 days of the award otherwise the offer will be cancelled.
4. If the student meets all the required criteria, and complies with all the conditions of the scholarship assistance programme (timely payments, submission of documents etc) and not get a scholarship (full or partial) the agency guarantees that they will refund the facilitation fee in full.
Honestly, while I appreciate that they do offer a service, I was taken aback by the fee and the conditions around it. It made me wonder if this was worthwhile or not as that is more than the annual school fees for my son who is starting Grade 1 in January.
Do you know of these services and relative charges and chances of success. I am not sure what to make of this.