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So-called scholarship programs that require application or processing fees in order to be considered for an award are examples of scholarship scams. Legitimate scholarship programs do not charge fees.
Some such scholarship scams will try to explain their reasons for charging fees, sometimes calling them application processing fees, reading fees, or fees to cover administrative expenses. Some fraudulent programs claim that there is not application fee, but charge a fee to provide prospective applicants with instructions regarding how to apply. Other programs will claim that charging fees is necessary to prevent candidates who aren't serious from applying for awards.
To avoid falling for these types of scholarship scams, never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship or to get application instructions for a particular scholarship program. Keep in mind that organizations, companies, and foundations who sponsor scholarship programs do so for the purpose of giving money away to qualified applicants, not charging applicants fees to review their applications.