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Yesterday we got spammed again by Cindy McCormick about the Hazing Awareness Scholarship.  The spam amounted to nearly 900 messages sent to university employees whose email address started with A thru D.  We have been spammed with this before and I've been suspicious for a while.  The messages have always included a link to some news service's report about some hazing incident around the country, and always links to some university's posting of their pdf/poster as if that school has vetted the scholarship.  This is the most recent link:
      http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/journalism/608/3624
but you can also google "Hazing Awareness Scholarship site:.edu" and find many more copies.  You can also see the poster/pdf at:   http://www.collegegreekbooks.com/cashaward.html   which is the little publisher that is sponsoring the award.  I have not found any independent description of the award.  But I did follow their links and found a list of recent recipients.  I have tried to contact a few and gotten one reply confirming that $500 was received.

I inquired of a few people who forwarded the message to a few dept student lists and eventually heard back from a student who had paid $5 to submit an application.  I think paying to apply for a scholarship is a little unusual.  If their carpetbomb spamming results in forwarding some of those messages to college age children or grandchildren of the employees, the business could collect quite a few $5 fees and be able to pay out an occasional scholarship.  But students' statistically expected return for their $5 may well be less than $5.

Does anyone have any independent review of this scholarship that confirms it is worth promoting to students?  If they give out one scholarship per 1000 applicants, the students might be better off putting their money in a hat and picking a random winner.  After all the website says "Winners are randomly selected based on application completeness".


Bob Bayn          (435)797-2396            IT Security Team
       http://it.usu.edu/security/htm/dont-be-fooled
Office of Information Technology, Utah State University

Comments

I don’t know of any legit scholarship that would solicit submissions by spam; or that would assign awards on the basis of a random drawing.

 

After reviewing Bob’s links, this appears to be simply a lottery-type promotion for the publishing firm.

 

Marty Manjak

ISO

University at Albany

 

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