There were 31.5 Million FREE FAFSA applications completed in 2011 according to the US Department of Education however, there may have been over 2 million students scammed by the misleading website!

Because of the number of people completing the FAFSA there have been unscrupulous people trying to make money off of the back of it.

The biggest site that I have found potentially ripping off students is is potentially scamming 2.1 Million Student Per Year!

See how they are ripping off students and getting away with it below…


How Is a Scam?

The way scams students is by charging them $79.99 to “assist” them in completing the FREE FAFSA form.

I have 2 issues with

  1. They mislead students into thinking that they are completing the official FAFSA form and then charge them for it. They do not clearly show that it will cost $79.99 until you have already filled in all your information
  2. The $79.99 charge is according to some complaints online not a one time fee but a recurring annual fee that automatically gets charged to students credit cards

They acknowledge in 2 locations that they are not affiliated with the department of Education and the FAFSA could be completed with no professional help.


Source (


My belief is that they are providing a service of value to some students, however, I suspect they get a lot of customers who think they are applying to the official FAFSA and are paying the $79.99 to the government and not to this for profit company.


Where is the legitimate FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The U.S. Dep. Of Ed. Is the largest issuer of financial aid and the FAFSA is the common starting point for all students to access that aid.

If you are looking to get student loans than the FAFSA is step #1.

The FAFSA application opens Jan 1 of each year for the next school year. Make sure to apply early as some grants are given out on what amounts to a first come first served.




Where Does Attract Students to Scam? attracts student to their website through search engines like Google. They are currently ranked #3 for the search term FAFSA.

There are 1.8M students per months searching for the term FAFSA according to Google…


By ranking #3 for this one keyword they would get hundreds of thousands(typically 20% of 1.8 million) of visitors per month!


Unofficial Site Ranks #3 in Google Reviews

There are many negative reviews of FAFSA on the internet and I was unable to find any positive reviews other than ones on their own website!

 FAFSA com Scam Review 1

 Source (


 Source (


On the Better Business Bureau site there is 186 complaints yet somehow they still have an A+ rating.

Here are a few of the complaints…

FAFSA-BBB-Complaints 5-FAFSA-Scam-Review-1 6-FAFSA-Scam-Review-2 7-FAFSA-Scam-Review-3


To present what I hope is as fair a representation as possible of below is their very canned response to most of the complaints at BBB.


BBB Review – Source

 Their website has supposedly 246k positive reviews however, on external websites I was unable to find any remotely positive reviews. I am not clear on how they have so many positive reviews but any service that claims a 98% satisfaction has my BS alert going off!

BS-AlarmPhoto By: leejayjee

How Many Students Are Getting Scammed? ~ 2,106,040 in 2011!

Traffic for = 236 Thousand per month (estimated)


Traffic for = 3.5 Million visitors per month (estimated)


Source (

( visitors) / ( visitors) x (Number of applications)


(Potential Number of Ripped Off Students!)

236,230 / 3,533,012 * 31,497,543 = 2,106,040 Potentially Ripped Off Students in 2011!


Who is behind – Haliburton

I am kidding about Haliburton. is very transparent and to their credit very clearly identify they are a private for profit company with their profile on the BBB website…


BBB Source is a legal business that appears to operate within all laws however their ethical compass seems to be very poor, they knowingly mislead students and take their money to complete a service which could be completed for FREE!


7 Best FREE FAFSA Resources

To make sure you are armed with knowledge and will avoid being scammed you can get advise on how to complete the free FAFSA from these great resources…


Lynn O’Shaughnessy from provides a lot of great financial advice for students looking to apply to college.


The Scholoarship Experts from shared these common FAFSA mistakes students should avoid.


The blog at (@zinch) is a great resource for college bound students and a recent article by Jacqueline Kim

The official blog has some really helpful FAFSA articles written by Nicole Callahan


SimpleTuition (@SimpleTuition) has an article on Demystifying the FAFSA


How Can We Stop Students From Getting Scammed by

Make sure you do not pay for the FREE(F) FAFSA form and apply to the correct location…


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