Scholarship Letter of Recommendation

A Scholarship Letter of Recommendation is a letter that highlights certain important information about a scholarship candidate as written by their recommender, who could be a teacher or a counselor, to improve their chances at getting the scholarship.

A recommender usually mentions the student’s character, personality traits, and different achievements when writing a scholarship letter of recommendation.

This letter is usually part of a scholarship application. As a recommender, it is essential to know what the scholarship requires to ensure that the drafted recommendation letter matches what is needed. It is also best if the recommender knows the student better to give the recommender a chance to write a more authentic and relevant letter.

If a recommender knows the scholarship guidelines and the type of award, which may include academic scholarship, sports scholarship, or any other achievement, then they can craft a letter that validates the student’s abilities, potential, and worth when it comes to that student being awarded a scholarship.

Since a scholarship letter of recommendation is a requirement for most scholarship applications, a recommender should understand its purpose to ensure they craft a proper one for their student. This letter acts as a strong endorsement for the student applying for that scholarship. This means that the scholarship committee views a well-written reference letter as a powerful testament about the student’s personal traits, academic success, and other achievements from a recommender who believes that they should get the scholarship. Also, the letter highlights the confidence that a recommender has in the student when it comes to future endeavors and achievements.

Another purpose of this type of recommendation letter is that it highlights who the student is and why they deserve the scholarship. A recommender can use real-life examples and stories about the scholarship candidate to paint a positive and great picture about them and their life to the scholarship committee, increasing their chances of getting the scholarship.

Finally, the other purpose of a scholarship letter of recommendation is that it helps to illuminate the student’s strengths and positive qualities that fit the scholarship requirements. Scholarships are awarded to those students with particular commitments or goals. That means the recommender is sure to highlight the scholarship candidate’s commitment or goals as per the scholarship needs and improve their chances of being awarded the scholarship.

Special Considerations

There are tips or special considerations that a recommender should keep in mind before writing a scholarship letter of recommendation. Here are some of the special considerations they need to keep in mind.

Gather all the details

The recommender must collect and gather all the details they will need once asked and accepted to write a recommendation letter for a scholarship for their student. They need to know where the student is applying to and what the scholarship is for even before they begin crafting a letter. With such information, the recommender will know how to shape the letter to suit the scholarship requirements and help their students win the scholarship.

Customize the letter

Since most recommenders might get asked by several students to write a scholarship letter of recommendation for them, the best way to help each student stand out from the rest and increase their chances of winning the scholarship is by customizing the letter. A recommender should customize the letter to make it more sincere, truthful, and personal.

State any personal experience with the student

As the recommender, whether a teacher or counselor, the relationship with the student is an important aspect of this letter. The recommender must, therefore, describe their personal experience with the student in detail and with examples. The scholarship committee would appreciate an in-depth understanding of how the candidate is related to other students and any exceptional moments that happened as they taught the student.

Highlight student’s strengths and accomplishments

Using their resumes or through interviews, the recommender should highlight the student’s strengths and accomplishments. These details will help illuminate the student’s potential to succeed in the future or through challenging times. The student’s academic success and personal character should, therefore, be well highlighted for the scholarship committee.

Write in a positive way

A scholarship letter of recommendation is all about praising the student for increasing their chances of being awarded the scholarship they are applying for. That means that a recommender should maintain a positive tone throughout the letter as they praise the student. Also, they should focus on the strengths of the student and all that a student does best. However, a recommender should avoid too many praises as the letter will not sound genuine.

Share anecdotes and any personal observations

The best way to allow the scholarship committee to get a closer understanding of the student and their life is by sharing anecdotes and personal observations about the student. These stories and examples will help the committee better understand the person they want to reward with a scholarship. These anecdotes will also help to highlight the student’s strengths.

Ask for a resume or set up a meeting

This step should only be considered if the recommender does not know much about the student or wants to gather more information about them. With a resume or a meeting, the recommender can get more insight into their interests and observe their personal traits and qualities.

Ask for the receiver’s details

A recommender must request the student for the receiver’s details to ensure they address the letter to the correct person. A well-written scholarship letter of recommendation will not be helpful if it does not reach the appropriate person.

Make sure to follow all requirements

The best way to improve the student’s chances of winning the scholarship is by following all the scholarship requirements when writing the letter. By being aware of the terms of reference for the award, the recommender can write and highlight the student’s commitment or goals that meet the scholarship requirements.

What to Include in a Scholarship Letter of Recommendation

Here is a list of all the components that the recommender must include in this reference letter for a scholarship when writing it.


A letterhead is an integral part of this letter since it is an official letter. With a letterhead, it means that a recommender has observed and maintained the formal business format. In addition, the letter will contain the following information: the date when the letter was written, recommender’s full name, recommender’s title, school name, recommender’s complete address, and their full contact details.


Since it is an official letter, the salutation part in this type of letter will address the scholarship committee of the place where the student is applying for their scholarship.

For example:

“Dear Admission Committee”


For the introduction part of the letter, there are four main pieces of information that the recommender must include in the letter. First, the recommender must introduce the candidate. Then, the recommender should state the scholarship being awarded. Third, the recommender should mention the duration of the relationship they have with the student. Finally, the recommender should introduce the scholarship candidate’s financial needs.

This is done by mentioning the student’s full name, mentioning the scholarship they are applying for, highlighting the relationship they share with the student, indicating how long the relationship has lasted, and mentioned how important the scholarship will be based on the student’s financial needs and resilience through this challenge.


The letter’s body paragraph is lengthy and usually a detailed paragraph about the students’ character, qualities, success, and achievements. The first body paragraph usually addresses the experience the recommender has with the student. Examples and anecdotes provide better information about how the particular student relates with others and how well they have worked with fellow students.

The second body paragraph highlights the student’s potential. This paragraph mentions all the academic success, personal traits, achievements, and strengths that make the student suitable for the scholarship. In addition, the student’s potential makes them more suitable for the scholarship in that it highlights how the student deals with challenges.

These two body paragraphs aim to show how much the recommender believes in the student; hence, help the scholarship committee to know and believe the student is fit for the scholarship.


The conclusion part of the letter provides a summary of the student’s qualities and strengths and has the recommender endorse the student for the scholarship. In addition, the conclusion should portray the recommender’s belief and confidence in the student.

Contact information

As the recommender gets to the end of writing the letter, it is best to invite the letter’s recipient to reach out to them for more information. That means that the recommender should provide their contact details, including their phone number and/or their email address.


Signing off after completing the letter is also another important aspect of a scholarship letter of recommendation. A recommender should include their name and signature at the end of the letter when signing off.

What Not to Include

There are aspects that a recommender should consider and avoid altogether when crafting a scholarship recommendation letter. These three important aspects that should not be included in this letter include:

Mediocre praise

Basic, unenthusiastic, and mediocre praises about the student in the letter will not suffice if the letter aims at making the student stand out from the rest of the applicants. Therefore, the recommender must praise the student with lots of enthusiasm by using intentional adjectives, clear language, and impactful messages.

Non-descriptive reasons for the scholarship

It is not enough for the recommender to list the student’s qualities, success, and personal traits. These non-descriptive reasons for the scholarship do not help the student. Instead, using anecdotes, relevant examples, and powerful stories about the student to expound on their qualities and traits will help to improve the student’s chances of winning the scholarship.

Generic writing

A student might be applying for scholarships in different universities or colleges. Suppose a recommender uses the same scholarship letter of recommendation for all the applications made by their student. In that case, it lowers the chances of the student getting the scholarship since the recommender may have failed to follow all the scholarship requirements. It is, therefore, necessary for a recommender to customize the letter and avoid generic writing.

Scholarship Letter of Recommendation Templates

Here are some free downloadable templates.








    Key Takeaways

    • A scholarship letter of recommendation helps highlight a student’s potential, success, achievements, and abilities to help them get the scholarship they are applying for. That means that a recommender should be someone familiar who knows and understands them better.
    • As a recommender, it is best to keep in mind that the student is dependent on the information provided in the scholarship recommendation letter to win the scholarship. Therefore, it is best to maintain a positive tone while writing this type of letter to indicate confidence and trust in the student’s potential.
    • A recommender should have all the details they need from the student if they wish to write a relevant and genuine recommendation letter. Since a scholarship letter of recommendation is part of most scholarship applications, knowing the tips to keep in mind before writing one and the components to include in the letter is necessary.
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