ZIMSEC’s Advanced Level results came out last week on Friday. A lot of parents and students are celebrating their well-earned success. Most of those students will be or are already looking for University or College spots. The truth though is that University tuition is quite expensive. The average tuition for a state university in Zimbabwe is around US$600 per semester before you even add other requirements like food and accommodation. For private universities like Africa University, the fees tend to be double what state universities charge.

With the situation in Zimbabwe being what it is a lot of students would also be looking to escape and get spots at foreign universities. In South Africa, a popular destination, fees tend to hover around US$3 000-US$4 000 per semester. Again this is excluding food and accommodation. Tuition at universities in the developed world can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Most Zimbabweans, therefore, tend to turn to scholarships.

Scholarships are a great way to help students pay for their education, but unfortunately, there are a lot of fake scholarships and scams out there. These fake scholarships can be difficult to spot, but there are a few signs that you should look out for to help you avoid them. In this article, we’ll list some of the most common signs of a fake scholarship and how you can avoid them.

  1. Requiring payment upfront: A legitimate scholarship will never require you to pay money upfront. If a scholarship is asking for payment, it’s likely a scam.
  2. Requesting personal information: Legitimate scholarships will not ask for your personal information, such as your ID number or bank account information until you have been awarded the scholarship. If a scholarship is asking for this information upfront, it’s a red flag.
  3. Guaranteed acceptance: No legitimate scholarship program can guarantee acceptance. If a scholarship is promising you will be accepted without an application, it’s likely a scam.
  4. High-pressure sales tactics: A legitimate scholarship program will never use high-pressure sales tactics to try and convince you to apply. If a scholarship is pressuring you to apply or sign up, it’s likely a scam.
  5. No clear criteria or requirements: Legitimate scholarships will have clear criteria and requirements for applicants, such as a certain number of Advanced Level passes or fields of study for example medicine. If a scholarship doesn’t have clear criteria or requirements, it’s likely a scam.
  6. No information on the organization or sponsor: Legitimate scholarships will have information available on the organization or sponsor offering the scholarship. If a scholarship doesn’t have any information on the organization or sponsor, it’s likely a scam.
  7. No contact information: Legitimate scholarships will have contact information available, such as a phone number or email address, for applicants to get in touch with the organization or sponsor. If a scholarship doesn’t have any contact information, it’s likely a scam.
  8. No deadline for applications: Legitimate scholarships will have a deadline for applications. If a scholarship doesn’t have a deadline, it’s likely a scam.

To avoid falling victim to fake scholarships and scams, it is important to research any scholarship that you are interested in applying for. Look for information on the organization or sponsor, check for clear criteria and requirements, and be wary of any scholarships that ask for payment upfront or personal information.

It is also good to use reputable scholarship search engines or platforms, and check the authenticity of the scholarship from the institution or organizations that are offering them.

Finally, be sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of any scholarship you apply for. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

In conclusion, be vigilant and take the time to research any scholarship opportunity before applying. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is a scam. By following these guidelines, you can help protect yourself from falling victim to fake scholarships and scams.