Students Need To Be Aware Of Scams As They Fill Out Scholarships


Students need to be on the alert while filling out scholarships, especially in this tech-driven era, as scams exist in all manner of digital life, including emails. Thankfully, it is easy to find real scholarships that can get students money to lower their cost of living and don’t require questionable steps, like paying an induction fee.

Caryl Shill, the Career Education Specialist at Livermore High School (LHS), said that the best way to differentiate a real opportunity from a scam is to look at the little details. Things like spelling, an overabundance of personal questions, and hints of a possible phishing fraud should be taken into account.

“I always check them out to see if they’re legitimate first,” Shill said. “Are they asking for payment? That’s usually a red flag, and their website is also a good indicator.”

Mark Cabasino, an LHS English Teacher and advisor of the National Honor Society (NHS), said that the number one sign of a scholarship scam is if the organization asks for payment. 

“You shouldn’t have to pay to get a scholarship, it should be based on merit,” Cabasino said. “If it comes through the school website it’s probably legit, or if it comes from the university itself.”

Cabasino said that he never would have been able to go to the college he wanted without scholarships and that scholarships are helpful because the benefits, no matter how small, are always worth the work. He also said that he advises students applying for scholarships to budget their time wisely so students can start and finish early.

“Even just books are super expensive, let alone tuition. Every little piece helps, whatever the amount is,” Cabasino said.

Cabasino also said that students hoping to beef up their resume should consider joining NHS, as it’s a great way to get community service experiences.

“A lot of the criteria for scholarships is based on community service and NHS is a way for you to get that,” Cabasino said. “NHS also has their own scholarships that they offer, but those are pretty competitive since it’s a national organization.”

Like Cabasino said about the NHS being a national organization, Shill said that she thinks scholarships directly from local sources are easier compared to scholarships with a larger pool of applicants. Both Shill and Cabasino said that the locally provided Pedrozzi Scholarship is a great opportunity for LVJUSD Seniors. 

Shill also said that students should consider looking into scholarships offered by the schools they apply to and that students should always try applying to any of the Career Center scholarships, even if they don’t think they are likely to get the scholarship.