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The Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Education have issued their annual report to Congress pursuant to the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act, describing their continued efforts to combat scholarship and financial aid fraud. Each year, millions of students seek help in financing their college education, and some fall prey to scholarship and financial aid scams that “guarantee” money for college in exchange for a fee.

This report provides an update of these agencies’ activities to prevent and prosecute financial aid fraud and to teach consumers how to avoid scholarship scams. An analysis of consumer complaints about financial aid fraud shows that complaints have remained fairly constant during the past decade and that, compared to all of the other types of complaints registered with the FTC, the percentage of financial aid fraud complaints has decreased over time. The FTC continues to monitor these complaints to determine whether law enforcement action is necessary.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to issue the report was 4-0.

Copies of the report are available from the FTC’s Web site at and the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(Scholarship Fraud Report)
FTC File No. P094803)

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