The cost of college continues to increase with each year leaving more people to look to scholarships and grants for assistance.
A local woman learned the hard way you need to be careful when applying.
Duann Mathis of Springfield Township was looking for financial assistance for her daughter's college education.
She says she wasn't too familiar with computers when she started looking for help.
DUANN MATHIS: "I went to the library because I don't have computer access to apply for financial aid. We were applying a little bit late and when I went on the internet I chose the site Fasfa.com and I applied for her tuition."
The government does have a website called free application for federal student aid -- or FASFA.
But Mathis was confused and didn't apply for aid on that site, but did so with a private company called Fasfa.com.
MATHIS: "I found out that Fasfa.com was not where I should have gone because there was a charge of $80 to apply for financial aid. I don't need to pay, I'm, asking for help."
The private website does disclosure it's not affiliated with the Department of Education-- and even has a link to the government's Fasfa.ed.gov. website.
MATHIS: "My Daughter's Social Security number was inverted so it delayed us in getting our information in a timely manner which means I didn't get my service."
Now Mathis wants to alert others to be careful when looking for college financial assistance.
MATHIS: "A lot of people that have had children that are freshmen are really going to be mixed up with it if they're not careful."
On its website, Fafsa.com says it has 34 years of experience with trained professionals looking to assist you in the financial aid process.
And the company has a good record with the Better Business Bureau. But, again, you can apply for financial aid directly with the government at no cost by going to the government's own website.