Agencies should never “make” their models pay for photo shoots. However, all models must pay their own way through their careers whether they pay upfront or by reimbursing the agency after they have booked work. There is a mix of opinions and advice which keep young people from getting scammed. But that does not mean that every situation asking for money is a scam.
Building your portfolio will cost you in some manner even on “free” shoots, there are expenses in transportation and such. There are no agencies who will pay for any of the models expenses in the end, with few exceptions. Major agencies will cover the initial costs and even provide advances for spending money if they are sure that the model is going to get paid work. But any and every expense which the agency covered will be taken out of the models pay after the commissions are subtracted.Another sad but true factor is that many small boutique agencies take commissions from photo shoot costs when paid upfront or even in multiple payments. The model pays the agency and the agency pays the photographer after taking their cut.