How to Write a Scholarship Recommendation Letter

Before you write a scholarship recommendation letter, you'll need to include certain information that will let the scholarship committee know the applicant is worth considering. A scholarship letter of recommendation is a professional endorsement of the candidate's skills, abilities, work habits and dedication to academics. When someone comes to you for that endorsement, take the time to create a letter that will truly reflect the student's talents.

Have The Information At Hand
Ask the student for details on the scholarship she is applying for. Many scholarship programs have specific information they want from an academic letter of recommendation. Find out which of the applicant's talents most interests the review committee. Examples are leadership, academic testing and performance or general work ethics and integrity.

Letter Format
While each letter should be tailored to the specific scholarship requirements, there are some common threads that are present in any good scholarship recommendation. When you write the scholarship recommendation letter, be sure to include the following parts:

Establish who you are and how you know the applicant. Clearly present your relationship to the applicant and why you are qualified to assess the person's merits. It also gives you credibility when you briefly list your professional background.

Outline the person's achievements as they relate to the scholarship application. As a teacher or college professor, you can list the relevant classes the person took and those grades. Or, include a review about an internship she completed.

Give details about why you are recommending the applicant for the scholarship. Outline specific reasons why that person is the best candidate for the scholarship, and provide any appropriate examples.

Provide your contact information. The committee may have follow-up questions or need to verify your credentials.

Tips For Letter Writing
Keep the wording sincere and truthful. Never fill up space with over-the-top descriptions of the applicant's abilities. Choose your words carefully, and find a good balance that shows enthusiasm without going over the top.

Never include any information that could be used to deduce race, religion or other protected status. The applicant should receive the scholarship on her own merits, and not because of or despite certain characteristics.

With this advice, you can write a letter of recommendation that says far more than "she's a good candidate." You can give details that will make her shine and improve her chances of winning that scholarship.

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