University of California, Irvine

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal School Code 001314

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Be Aware of Scams

Students searching and applying for external scholarships should be aware of possible scams. Here we provide some cautionary advice on protecting yourself from possible scholarship scams.

Research an organization prior to submitting a scholarship application. Make sure the program or organization is legitimate. There should be clear contact information. It may be a scam if the organization uses a P.O. Box and/or does not provide a phone number. Review their website and application materials. If their information lacks professionalism, having typos or poor grammar for example, it may be a scam. Also be cautious of organizations attempting to present themselves as government or official organizations.

Do not pay an organization or individual who claims they will search for and apply for scholarships on your behalf. Nobody can apply for a scholarship for you. There are plenty of free and effective scholarship search engines.

Be cautious of any organization asking you to pay a fee to apply for the scholarship. Legitimate scholarship agencies want to help students and would not expect them to pay to submit an application.

If the organization is asking for your bank account, credit card or debit card information to secure a scholarship, it is a scam. Never give away personal financial information. Likewise, be cautious if the organization is asking for copies of your tax returns. Make sure the organization is legitimate and black out your social security numbers if you do submit your tax documents.

Be cautious when giving out your social security number. If the scholarship organization is asking for your social security number we recommend calling them to ask for an exception.

Be aware of claims such as "You've been selected by a 'national foundation' to receive a scholarship," in a contest you never entered. Be cautious of anyone, besides your school, that claims you have won a scholarship for which you never applied. Students don't just get scholarships out of the blue. You must apply for scholarships yourself.

For more information about scholarship scams visit


Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Friday
102 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-2825
Tel: (949) 824-8262
Fax: (949) 824-4876 or (949) 824-6725

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About UCI
The State of California requires that you be told the following:
Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.