Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarship Application Strategies > The Scholarship Letter Of Recommendation

The Scholarship Letter of Recommendation

Without a doubt, I think the most important factor when acquiring a letter of recommendation is asking the appropriate person for this potentially valuable document. Apparently this is a primary issue, not only to me but to other scholarship providers as well, as a recent conversation with a fellow scholarship provider confirmed. It’s pretty simple to those of us in the field: "Don’t ask someone to recommend you for something about which they know nothing”. Essentially, when scholarship providers ask you for a letter of recommendation, they are asking for a written backing of your "self-nomination" and usually it is just one other opinion they seek, so don’t have Uncle Freddy the electrician vouch for you, OK? Below are some pointers that could help any student in need of a letter of recommendation.

Ask the Most Appropriate Person Available

Don’t ask your cousin or your parents’ dog walker for a recommendation. Ask someone relevant to the scholarship for which you are applying. For example, if volunteer work is among the scholarship’s criteria, ask your supervisor from the organization where you volunteered.

Be Punctual & Considerate

Don’t wait until the last minute and give the person helping you out a day or two to complete the letter. As soon as you know you are going to apply for a scholarship that requires a letter of recommendation, start putting the necessary documents together then select and ask your ideal author/supplier of this letter if they would be willing to help you out.

All But Write it For Them...OK, Write it For Them

Give your recommender enough material so that it will be quick and easy for them to oblige. Alternatively, as a colleague recently suggested to me, you can just write it for them and ask them to sign their name to it. If you take this approach, just remember that they are not likely to sign anything they don’t want to be associated with, so speak well of yourself but keep it realistic.

Request the Letter is Printed on Your Recommender's Letterhead

Just to give your letter the authenticity the scholarship provider is likely to desire, have your recommender put the letter on their letterhead.

Bring Materials - and That Includes Stamps

Whatever you do, don’t make the person writing this letter for you hunt for stamps or an oversized envelope (much less buy them!). Be appreciative of their time and effort and show it by being as prepared and gracious as possible.

Mind Your Manners

In addition to giving your recommender ample time to provide you with a good letter of recommendation, be sure to say thank you and realize this is a big favor and one that could save you from a lot of debt when you graduate college.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

12 Year-Old Genius To Be A Doctor By Age 18?

May 24, 2016

by Susan Dutca

12-year-old Tanishq Abraham has already earned three associate's degrees and has been accepted to two University of California system four-year colleges. 60 percent of college students today are twice that age before they earn a single bachelor's degree. Tanishq Abraham started taking college courses at age 7 and has been accepted to UC Davis and received the highest honor - a Regents [...]

Netflix & Apply for Scholarships

May 19, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Netflix is every college student's delight and distraction. What should've been a two-hour study session ended up being 5 hours of watching Game of Thrones. Apply for one of these Top 10 Scholarships in the time it takes you an episode or two of your favorite TV series. The Scholarships.com "Tell A Friend" $1,000 Sweepstakes Deadline: 6/30/2016 [...]

Your Body...Your College's Choice?

May 17, 2016

by Susan Dutca

The Supreme Court recently avoided a major ruling on a case challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The justices decided to let the lower courts battle out the issue of faith-based organizations refusing to offer free contraceptive coverage for women. This week, all seven cases in the consolidated Zubik v. Buwell, No. 14-1418 were sent back to their appeals [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed