Pittsburgh, February 17, 2011 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today warned students and their families about student financial aid scams.

With so many students seeking school aid at this time of year, they and their families can become the target of scam artists who offer to help a person complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) for a fee or make promises for grants and loans that they cannot deliver on. While there are also some legitimate organizations offering to help with your application for a fee, paying for that assistance isn’t necessary.

“The PA Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has a variety of tools at their fingertips to help students and families complete financial aid forms and identify scholarships and other aid to help with college costs,” Fontana said.

“PHEAA hosts workshops throughout our region and across the state. Additionally, many school counselors and financial aid offices also stand ready to answer questions, help students apply and file their grant or loan applications. There is really no need to pay someone for these services.”

Fontana encouraged students and families to visit PHEAA’s website (www.pheaa.org) for information on when FASFA completion workshops are being held and to use their Scholarship Search and other features to help fund a college education.

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