In most regions, the cost of education is usually high, limiting the number of people who get entry into higher institutions of education. This necessitates the use of scholarships among students, especially among the underprivileged in society. Scholarship candidates are required to apply, and the grantor sets some criteria that applicants are expected to meet to receive the scholarship. Besides the application, the grantor can request the applicant to include a recommendation letter, which is a letter by a teacher or a counselor giving the reasons why they believe the candidate is worthy of the scholarship.
What is a Recommendation Letter
Recommendation letters are letters written by someone in a position to recommend a person’s academic or work performance to an admissions officer or hiring committee in an effort to present the candidate as worthy of acceptance for the opportunity at hand. The opportunity could be a job position or even a scholarship opportunity.
Recommendation Letter for Scholarship
A scholarship recommendation letter is written by a third party, on behalf of a scholarship candidate/applicant, to convince the grantor why the candidate deserves the scholarship. A scholarship recommendation letter is written, on behalf of a candidate, by a professional or someone in authority that has interacted with the candidate long enough to have a conclusive idea of who the candidate is in person. It gives the qualities, traits, and achievements of the candidate that meet the criteria set out for scholarship awarding. It should give past events that support the characteristics of the candidate highlighted by the recommended.
Purpose of Recommendation Letter for Scholarship
Why write a recommendation letter? Its significance varies from one case to another; however, the primary purpose should be to convince the grantor of an applicant’s suitability for a scholarship.
A scholarship recommendation letter helps reduce the grantor’s doubt on the validity of the candidate’s information during application. Since the author is usually a professional (teacher, lecturer, or counselor), the information provided is taken to be of high integrity.The letter is meant to demonstrate the candidate as a worthwhile investment.
A recommendation letter increases a candidate’s chances to receive the scholarship as it is another person’s perception of the candidate, which is less biased than if the candidate described.
It is used to show how the candidate meets the criteria for selection.
Who Should Write a Scholarship Recommendation Letter
A recommendation letter is written by any person whom the grantor declares as a viable source of information, for example, a lecturer, dean, counselor, employer, or team coach when it comes to sports scholarships. The author should be familiar with the candidate personally to clearly and concisely base their description of the candidate. A personal interaction also helps in citing actions/events that best support the author’s claims.
If incorporated in your recommendation letter, there are several tips that would help you achieve maximum efficiency in your letter. Remember, you want the letter to be as professional, engaging, and convincing as possible.
As the author, you should familiarize yourself with details about the scholarship like the grantor, what level of education it is meant for, what is expected of the candidate to receive the scholarship and the selection criteria the grantor has laid out? This helps you narrow down the candidate’s traits and achievements that meet these criteria to base your recommendation around them. You should also find out any projects (on-going or previous) the candidate has been involved in.
As an author, try to major in the candidate’s strengths. Identify their traits and clearly give them. The words used should describe a candidate’s qualities should be free of ambiguity. For example, the phrase ‘He is a good person’ is somewhat too ambiguous; consider using a phrase like ‘He is a diligent basketballer.’
Should you have questions for the candidate, ensure they are answered before and NOT after writing the letter. Contacting the candidate would also go a long way in addressing this and seeking a bit more information to help with the letter writing.
When to say no
When you feel you do not know the candidate well enough to recommend, refrain from writing the letter. It might end up sounding ingenuine and mean you cannot validate some of the candidate’s information. This could consequently end up costing the candidate the scholarship.
Follow the grantor’s guidelines
Lastly, some grantors tend to give guidelines and format the letter should ensure you adhere to this. These can be considered the basic conditions that the letter has to meet to make it to the review stage—for example, the font, type or size, format of the letter, and such.
Recommendation Letter Format
You can write a good recommendation by following a few steps. These steps ensure that you include all the essential parts: letterhead, introduction, the body, summary, contact information, and signature.
The steps include;
At the top left corner, introduce the sender to the grantor. It should contain the date, name of the author, position/title, institution name, and address. The letterhead is usually inserted at the top left corner.
Following the header is the salutation, which is used as a courtesy gesture. It is directed to the recipient/reader of the letter, a committee, and an individual or organization.
You can then proceed to introduce the candidate, who you are in support of, to the recipient as many people usually apply for scholarships. Here, the relationship or interaction between you and the candidate is declared in capacity and duration. You should ensure that the period is reasonably long else it would harm the candidate’s chances of receiving the scholarship.
After the candidate has been declared, the author highlights the candidate’s outstanding characteristics that best describe his ethical stand when dealing with academics and other fields such as sports. It is recommende that you focus on the qualities that set them apart from the lot. Describe how this candidate meets the criteria for selection. You can support this by showing a candidate’s performance, be it academic or athletic, by s citing their grades or roles in the team.
State any academic or athletic achievements such competitions participated in, level of education, or silverware won. If the candidate has been active in certain programs in the school, community, or any other organization, make it known to the grantor. Make sure to give examples to support your claims. A story that shows the candidate’s qualities in practice could go a long way in convincing the committee. In case the candidate has been in leadership positions, you can list their responsibilities and your take on how they performed in that position. Be direct to the point as much as you want to give as much information as possible; you do not want to make the letter unnecessarily long and boring.
After all the relevant information has been written down, you should conclude the letter by reassuring the grantor/committee that this particular candidate would be an excellent selection. Aim to clear any doubt in the grantor’s mind on this candidate’s suitability.
Contact information and signature
Lastly, provide your contact information in case the grantor has more questions or concerns about the candidate. This could be an email address or phone number. The author should sign off as a sign that the given information is strictly by the signature owner.
How to Write a Recommendation Letter for Scholarship
To ensure the letter efficiently serves its intended purpose, the author should consider some components if they are to achieve this. There are various formats you can use to draft the letter. However, the process of writing a recommendation letter remains constant despite the format the author chooses to use.
Your experience with the student
Your interaction with the student and the nature of your relationship with them should be declared in the letter’s first paragraph. This includes how long you have interacted with them and their capacity as their teacher, professor, or coach.
The student’s potential
In the second paragraph, describe the candidate to the grantor in terms of personality and traits. This information shows the candidate’s capability if given the opportunity. Do not be vague while describing the student. You want to sound convinced yourself that the student is who you say they are. A student’s potential can be demonstrated by pointing out their achievements so far in their studies, sports, or other co-curricular activities. For example, any competition won club membership or leadership positions held. Show how the candidate meets the scholarship’s criteria.
Significant events during interactions with the student
Any significant event that reassured your belief in the candidate can be described in the third paragraph. Aim to be interesting, to the point, and brief for this is a letter after all. Use words that portray a first-hand encounter of the event.
Reasons the student is likely to succeed in a higher academic institution
As the author, show your confidence that the student will prevail in a higher education institution by giving your professional remarks on the candidate’s capabilities. You can achieve this by summarizing the information in the letter by stating the key points.
Dos and Don’ts to Consider
There are a few do’s and dont’s that must be kept in consideration when preparing a recommendation letter for scholarhsip. They are as follows;
The objective is to stand out from dozens of applications; therefore, a letter that completely captures the reader’s attention is essential. To achieve this, there certain dos and don’ts that an author should consider before crafting the letter.
Customize your letter
Customization is done by including your details such as your name, job title, organization, and address. This information must appear in the letter. This helps the grantor have an idea of who the recommender is to some extent.
Show excitement when writing the letter using words that show you wrote the letter out of your own will. This helps keep the reader’s interest and regard the given as genuine.
Highlight the primary strengths
Since the aim is to market the candidate, focus on their strengths, and highlight the qualities that show their better nature.
Give stories, examples
Stories apart from keeping the reader engaged show there is indeed a personal relationship with the candidate. This makes the information given more believable. Stories give an account where the candidate prevailed therefore validating their traits further.
Be intentional with your phrasing and flow of ideas
When selecting the words to use, be intentional. The words or phrases should invoke certain emotions or reactions from the grantor. The ideas/information given should flow in a logical sequence whose end goal is to convince the grantor that the candidate deserves the scholarship.
You can avoid this by using words and phrases that are to the point. Vague compliments such as ‘ a good student’ come off as not genuine and cost the candidate the scholarship. Avoid overused adjectives as they do not make the candidate standouts.
Non-Descriptive Reasons Why the Candidate Deserves the Scholarship
You should avoid stating adjectives without an event to back them up. The objective is to give as much information as possible; stories tend to do this for you as the grantor can deduce other qualities not mentioned. They facilitate the committee to make their conclusive take on the candidate’s characteristics.
Generic writing is unspecific writing. You should focus on narrowing down to the point which you want to put across. Remember you are trying to sell the candidate to the grantor; focus on the objective. The letter should aim to maximize its impact on the grantor’s perception.
Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template
[Name of the sender]
[Name of Institution]
To: [Name of Recipient]
Dear [Recipient or Admission committee],
I would like to recommend [Name of candidate] for [name] scholarship. Name of candidate] has been my student between [date], after which we established a working relationship from our shared interest in [course or science].
In the years I have known him/her, I can say with no doubt that he/she is a hardworking, trustworthy, and prudent person. He/she proved time and time again that she can excel in academics and other fields. He/she is a [course] graduate and would like to further their studies by undertaking a master’s degree in [Name of course]. I believe this scholarship would be a step in the right direction to help him/her realize their goal.
Throughout his/her school life, I have witnessed [Name of candidate] get actively involved in various school activities and programs. He/she has gained a reputation of being a role model to others.
I hope [Name of candidate] will be considered for this opportunity and put into fair use if given a chance. He has done well so far, and he/she can do better. For any questions, kindly reach me through [author’s contact information].
Scholarship Recommendation Letter Samples
Athletic Scholarship Sample
High Hopes University,
297 Grant Avenue,
Auburn, NY 13021
Basketball Head Coach,
January 13th, 2021.
I write this letter expressing my confidence in nominating Harvey Simons for the Spread Your Wings scholarship. Mr. Simons for the last three years has been an active member of the basketball team. I have been a coach to the team. He has risen within the ranks to attain the school’s basketball team.
He has shown leadership qualities by guiding the team to two Nationals league semifinals and one final in 2019, where the team won the trophy. Mr. Simons has shown total dedication towards any goals he sets his mind to. He has demonstrated honesty, hard work, assertiveness, and self-drive. As a leader within the team, he has set an excellent example for the rest to emulate. He has gained respect from the sports department staff and shown the same for authority. Academically, he has proven capable as every team member is expected to attain a grade C in every semester’s final exam. He has won silverware from 2nd runners up in the National basketball league 2018 with the team.
Mr. Simons is from a humble background, and his tuition fee has sometimes required contributions from grants.
I believe this scholarship can open more opportunities for Mr. Simons in his career path. His capability to maintain that level of performance in and off the field shows a remarkable journey of a young man despite going through unfortunate events in his life. For any queries, I am available to comment in person or via my office.
Academic Recommendation Letter Sample
January 5th, 2021
Immaculate College School,
121 Worcester Rd,
Framingham, MA 1701.
To: Give Back scholarship committee,
I am writing this letter to utter my support for Aaron Biggs to pursue a scholarship through the Give Back scholarship program. He has been a student at Immaculate College for three years, and I have had the privilege to interact with him in some of my lectures.
I have known Mr. Biggs as a respectful, honest, and very determined young man. He has shown great respect for authority and gets along well with his fellow students. I understand that on summer break 2019, he volunteered for service in your angels and Saints Foundation shelter.
He has been excellent in his academics and has had a strong interest in the robotics department. Through some of our meetings, I have noted his interest in pursuing a robotics course, which is a bit more expensive than his current course. I believe that given an opportunity to realize his goals, it will value added to society. Kindly consider him for the scholarship.
If there any questions or requests, please contact my office through (111) 555-2880 or email@example.com.
Prof. M. Sanders,
Academic scholarship letter via email sample
Subject: Letter of Recommendation
With great pleasure, I recommend Clare Higgins for your South Wales International postgraduate scholarship; she has been a student in chemistry lectures for the three years she has been a student at Highfield University. Ms. Higgins, for a long time, has been an active participant in the science and technology club as well as science fairs.
Her wish is to further her studies in Industrial Chemistry soon as she is done with undergraduate later in June. This scholarship will be her opportunity to explore her desire. I can confidently say that the times we have interacted, she is a disciplined, respectful, competent, honest, and hardworking student. This has been reflected in her excellent, consistent academic performances and interactions with other students and staff. She has had a term in the students’ body as its secretary, which she executed effectively. She is responsible for the introduction of the Weekly Community Service Program at Highfield University.
I believe she deserves this scholarship as her commitment towards her goals is unmatched, and her dedication to human life-improving science is ever-growing. She has been part of the Mobile Desalinizer Project, which is still in progress with the university premises.
It is my hope you will consider the given information while issuing the scholarships. For further questions, kindly contact me via email or 3115 5200 64.
Having to develop a recommendation letter from scratch every time you are required to craft one can be a hustle. In this regard, we have provided free downloadable templates that you can customize to suit your needs. The templates have all the essential parts of a recommendation letter. Kindly download!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do colleges care about letters of recommendation for a scholarship?
Yes. Recommendation letters go a long way in convincing the scholarship committee/grantor to select whom to offer scholarships. This is because recommendation letters are usually written by people in authority or professions whose opinions hold much value.
Is it OK to copy letters of recommendation?
It is not advisable to copy a recommendation letter as you should try as much as possible to base it from a personal perspective.
Do letters of recommendation for scholarships expire?
Recommendation letters do not expire; however, they decay, meaning their value depreciates with time. This, however, depends on the context.
You should write a recommendation letter for a candidate with whom you are well familiar. A recommendation letter should be factual and should contain the genuine opinions of the author. Candidates should consider using a recommendation letter to boost their chances of receiving scholarships. It is important to proofread before sending to correct for grammar and spelling mistakes. Do not forget to include all the relevant information as pointed out in this article.