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BBB provides tips on avoiding college financial aid scams

A recent College Board survey revealed that one year of college education can cost more than $45,000. With rates for higher education continuing to rise, high school students and their families often scramble to manage the financial responsibility.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends caution when dealing with companies that offer assistance in finding financial aid opportunities. Students and their families should be wary of websites, seminars or other schemes that promise to find scholarships, grants or financial aid packages for a fee.

Fraudulent companies advertising financial aid search services may promise a money-back guarantee if students are unable to secure grants or scholarships, but they also set so many conditions that it’s almost impossible to get a refund.

Legitimate companies can help students find aid, but they don’t guarantee results. However, parents and students usually can find the same awards and others on their own by searching online or going to the library.

Most colleges that award need-based financial aid require students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which the schools use to determine a student’s financial need. Parents or students can complete the FAFSA online.

More information is available online or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID



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