How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship

I. Introduction

  • A brief overview of the importance of recommendation letters for scholarship applications.

II. Understanding the Scholarship Criteria

  • Discuss the key criteria that scholarship committees typically look for.
  • Highlight the importance of aligning the recommendation with these criteria.

III. Building a Relationship with the Applicant

  • Emphasize the significance of knowing the applicant personally.
  • Provide tips on establishing a strong relationship before writing the recommendation.

IV. Gathering Information

  • Detail the types of information needed for an effective recommendation.
  • Discuss the importance of asking specific questions to gather relevant details.

V. Structuring the Letter

  • Explain the recommended format for a scholarship recommendation letter.
  • Provide a sample template for guidance.

VI. Addressing Strengths and Achievements

  • Encourage highlighting the applicant’s academic achievements and strengths.
  • Offer suggestions on showcasing extracurricular activities and community involvement.

VII. Personalizing the Content

  • Discuss the impact of personalized anecdotes and experiences.
  • Provide examples of how to infuse a personal touch into the letter.

VIII. Emphasizing Leadership and Character

  • Highlight the importance of portraying the applicant’s leadership skills.
  • Discuss the role of character references in scholarship recommendation letters.

IX. Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  • Address common mistakes to avoid when writing a recommendation letter.
  • Provide insights into maintaining honesty and authenticity.

X. Tailoring for Different Scholarships

  • Discuss the need for tailoring letters for different scholarship applications.
  • Provide tips on adapting content without compromising authenticity.

XI. Proofreading and Editing

  • Stress the significance of proofreading for clarity and correctness.
  • Offer advice on seeking feedback before finalizing the recommendation.

XII. Submission Guidelines

  • Provide information on the submission process and any specific guidelines.
  • Emphasize the importance of adhering to deadlines.

XIII. The Follow-Up

  • Discuss the impact of following up with the applicant after submission.
  • Encourage maintaining an open line of communication.

XIV. The Importance of a Strong Closing

  • Highlight the significance of a compelling conclusion.
  • Provide examples of impactful closing statements.
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XV. Conclusion

  • Summarize the key points and reiterate the importance of a well-crafted recommendation letter.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship

Scholarship applications often require a letter of recommendation to provide insights into the applicant’s character, achievements, and potential. Crafting an effective recommendation letter requires careful consideration and a personal touch. Let’s dive into the essential steps to ensure your recommendation stands out and maximizes the applicant’s chances of securing that coveted scholarship.


Commencing the letter with a brief overview of its importance sets the stage for the reader. Acknowledge the critical role recommendation letters play in shaping the perception of the applicant.


Understanding the Scholarship Criteria

Before putting pen to paper, familiarize yourself with the specific criteria the scholarship committee evaluates. Tailoring your letter to align with these criteria significantly enhances its impact.

Building a Relationship with the Applicant

Establishing a strong rapport with the applicant is crucial. Share your experiences with them, illustrating a genuine connection that goes beyond academics.

Gathering Information

To craft a compelling letter, gather comprehensive information about the applicant. Pose specific questions to extract details that highlight their strengths.

Structuring the Letter

Organize your letter in a clear and concise format. Include an introduction, body, and conclusion, ensuring each section serves a distinct purpose.

Addressing Strengths and Achievements

Highlight the applicant’s academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Paint a vivid picture of their strengths.

Personalizing the Content

Infuse a personal touch into the letter by incorporating anecdotes and experiences that showcase the applicant’s character and potential.

Emphasizing Leadership and Character

Underscore the applicant’s leadership skills and character traits. Provide specific examples that demonstrate their ability to make a positive impact.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Steer clear of common mistakes, such as exaggerations or insincerity. Maintain honesty and authenticity throughout the letter.

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Tailoring for Different Scholarships

Recognize the uniqueness of each scholarship application. Tailor your recommendation to address specific requirements while preserving authenticity.

Proofreading and Editing

Prioritize proofreading to ensure clarity and correctness. Seek feedback from others to refine the letter before submission.

Submission Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with the submission process and adhere to any guidelines provided by the scholarship committee. Missing deadlines could jeopardize the applicant’s chances.

The Follow-Up

After submitting the recommendation, consider following up with the applicant. This not only shows your continued support but also reinforces the personal connection.

The Importance of a Strong Closing

End the letter with a compelling conclusion. Recap key points and leave a lasting impression on the reader.


In conclusion, writing a letter of recommendation for a scholarship requires a strategic approach. By understanding the criteria, building a strong relationship with the applicant, and tailoring your letter for different scholarships, you contribute significantly to their chances of success.


Q1: Can I use a generic recommendation letter for multiple scholarships? Yes, but it’s highly recommended to tailor each letter to the specific requirements of each scholarship for maximum impact.

Q2: How long should a recommendation letter be? Aim for a concise and focused letter, typically around one to two pages, ensuring you cover all key aspects.

Q3: Should I include negative aspects in the recommendation letter? While honesty is crucial, focus on framing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than highlighting negative aspects.

Q4: Is it acceptable to submit the recommendation letter electronically? Check the scholarship guidelines; most committees accept electronic submissions, but some may still prefer hard copies.

Q5: Can I submit more than one recommendation letter for an applicant? In most cases, it’s advisable to submit a single comprehensive recommendation letter rather than multiple letters, unless otherwise specified.

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