Beware of Scholarship Scams on Social Media – DepEd, CHEd

As a new school year and enrollment season kick off in the Philippines, the bustling world of social media becomes even more active with countless shares and updates. Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) have issued warnings about a surge in scholarship scams. Crafty scammers are impersonating these authoritative bodies, using sophisticated tricks like unauthorized use of logos and officials’ photos to promote fake scholarships. These bogus offers dangle the promise of cash incentives, targeting students from elementary to college levels, as shared in a report by the Inquirer.

fake scholarship offers
Credits: DepEd, CHEd / Facebook

The Dangers of Social Media Scams

Social media has become a double-edged sword; while it facilitates information sharing, it also serves as a breeding ground for scams. Recently, DepEd revealed that scammers were using its logo and a photo of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte to promote bogus scholarship programs. These fake advertisements promise substantial cash incentives for students across various educational levels—P5,000 for elementary, P7,000 for high school, and P10,000 for college or vocational students. However, these offers are entirely fraudulent.


Official Warnings and Guidance

The DepEd and CHEd have taken active steps to combat these misleading offers by urging the public to remain vigilant. They emphasize the importance of verifying the authenticity of such offers through official channels. CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III highlighted the risks associated with engaging with unofficial sources, especially those that purport to represent educational authorities like UniFAST (Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education).


How to Verify Genuine Offers

To safeguard against falling victim to such scams, students and parents are advised to:

  • Check Official Sources: Always refer to the official websites and social media pages of DepEd and CHEd for any announcements related to scholarships or financial aid.
  • Beware of Quick Cash Offers: Be skeptical of posts that offer money with minimal requirements, such as just submitting a school ID.
  • Report Suspicious Offers: If you encounter any dubious information, report it directly to for DepEd-related scams.

The Role of Educational Authorities

The DepEd and CHEd continue to work diligently to educate and alert the public about these scams. They are committed to providing safe and legitimate educational opportunities without exposing students and parents to potential harm. By maintaining open lines of communication and providing clear guidelines on how to access genuine offers, they help build a safer environment for students seeking financial assistance.

Existing Scholarship Grants from the PH Government

  1. CHED Scholarship Program: The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) offers scholarship programs to Filipino students pursuing higher education. These scholarships cover tuition fees, stipends, and other educational expenses. The specific requirements and application processes may vary.
  2. DOST-SEI Government Scholarship: The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) provides scholarships to talented and deserving students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program offers financial assistance, monthly stipends, and other benefits to support the education of scholars.
  3. Provincial Government Scholarships: Some provincial governments in the Philippines offer scholarship programs to support local students in pursuing their education. These scholarships may cover tuition fees, allowances, and other educational expenses. The eligibility criteria and application processes depend on the specific provincial government.
  4. PESFA Scholarship: The Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) program is a scholarship grant by the government that aims to provide financial support to students who want to pursue a college education in private higher education institutions. The program covers a portion of the tuition fee and other education-related expenses.
  5. TESDA Scholarship: The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers scholarship programs for technical and vocational courses. These scholarships aim to provide skills training and enhance the employability of individuals in various industries.
  6. OWWA Scholarship: The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides scholarships to dependents of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). These scholarships support the education of qualified students, covering tuition fees, allowances, and other educational expenses.

Community Vigilance and Responsibility

The fight against fraudulent educational offers is not just the responsibility of educational authorities but also of the community. By staying informed and cautious, sharing verified information, and educating each other about the signs of scams, we can collectively thwart the efforts of scammers.

Tips and Reminders when Applying for Scholarships

When applying for scholarships, whether local or overseas, there are several tips and reminders that can help increase your chances of success. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Research and Identify Scholarships

  • Take the time to research and identify scholarships that align with your academic goals, interests, and background.
  • Look for scholarships offered by local organizations, universities, government agencies, and international foundations.
  • Consider both merit-based and need-based scholarships to maximize your options.

Start Early and Stay Organized

  • Begin your scholarship search and application process well in advance to allow ample time for preparation.
  • Create a calendar or spreadsheet to keep track of scholarship deadlines, requirements, and submission dates.
  • Gather all the necessary documents, such as academic transcripts, recommendation letters, and personal statements, in advance.

Read and Follow Instructions Carefully

  • Carefully read the eligibility criteria, application instructions, and requirements for each scholarship.
  • Make sure you understand the specific documents, essays, or forms you need to submit and adhere to any formatting guidelines.
  • Pay attention to deadlines and submit your application well before the closing date.

Highlight Your Achievements and Strengths

  • Showcase your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and any other relevant accomplishments.
  • Tailor your application materials to emphasize your unique qualities and strengths that make you a strong candidate for the scholarship.
  • Use specific examples and provide evidence of your skills, talents, and dedication.

Craft a Compelling Personal Statement

  • Write a well-crafted personal statement that highlights your academic and career goals, motivation, and why you deserve the scholarship.
  • Be genuine, authentic, and reflective in your writing, sharing meaningful experiences that have shaped your aspirations.
  • Proofread your personal statement multiple times to ensure it is error-free and effectively communicates your message.

Seek Letters of Recommendation

  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or mentors who can speak to your academic abilities, character, and potential.
  • Provide your recommenders with sufficient time to write thoughtful and detailed letters on your behalf.
  • Follow up with a thank-you note to express gratitude for their support.

Pay Attention to Scholarship Essays

  • If the scholarship requires essays, carefully read and understand the prompts or questions.
  • Plan your essays in advance, outline your ideas, and structure your responses coherently.
  • Use clear and concise language, and proofread your essays for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Submit a Complete and Polished Application

  • Ensure that all required documents, forms, and supporting materials are complete and submitted on time.
  • Double-check your application for any errors or missing information before submission.
  • If possible, have someone else review your application to catch any mistakes or provide feedback.


Education is a fundamental right and essential for future success, so it’s important to protect this pathway from fraudulent schemes. By staying informed and vigilant, students and parents can safeguard themselves against educational scams. If an offer on social media seems too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s collectively ensure that our educational pursuits lead to genuine opportunities, not deceit. Encourage an environment of awareness and caution against suspicious offers. This commitment helps protect each student and maintains the integrity of our educational system. Remember, prioritizing safety and authenticity in your educational journey is key.

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