20 With the wealth of information that’s available in print and online, there’s no reason to use a paid scholarship service. Minority scholarships Many colleges have scholarships specifically designed to encourage out- standing minority students to attend their college. Students should ask the colleges they’re considering for information on any scholarships for which they may be eligible. Bookstores and libraries have numerous books with information on minority scholarships, and scholarship search programs make it possible to search for minority scholarships online. Scholarship search services Be suspicious of any scholarship service that charges a fee. Most of these scholarship search services provide little information of value and some are outright scams. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of families are scammed out of millions of dollars each year by fraudulent companies. The Federal Trade Commission cautions students and parents to be aware of scholarship services that tell you: 1) they have information you can’t get anywhere else; 2) you are guaranteed to get a scholarship; 3) a scholarship costs a fee; or 4) they will do all the work. Searching for scholarships online The scholarship websites listed below provide excellent information. They match a student’s interests, background, and talents with thou- sands of scholarship programs. Students can search for scholarships based on academic achievement, re- ligious affiliation, ethnic or racial heritage, proposed major, athletic ability, and/or special interests. Use the following websites to find scholarships for which you qualify. www.scholarships.com www.studentaid.ed.gov/scholarship www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org www.fastweb.com