Apply, if you want to go. Smaller schools charge more for tuition under the idea that you will get more one on one time with the teachers. Call them and talk to them. It's not uncommon for colleges to send out blast emails to everyone who took the SAT or ACT and then weed out the ones that did crappy once they get that information from you. The key word is "candidate". Everyone who took the SAT could be a candidate. And you only get a refund of the application cost IF you win the scholarship. It's just advertising. I wouldn't call it a scam, but it's not a $40,000 scholarship either.