- Scholarships 101
- Tips & Tutorials
- Student Loans & Grants
Scholarship Recommendation Letters
Many scholarship applications require one or more letters of recommendation. Scholarship recommendation letters help the selection committee round out their impression of you and compare you with other candidates.
Consider the following advice:
- Choose Carefully: Cultivate good relationships with your guidance counselor, teachers, coaches, employers and others who can recommend you highly. Select people who write well and are appropriate for the scholarship opportunity. For example, you may want to ask a coach when applying for an athletic scholarship and a teacher when applying for an academic scholarship.
- Ask Early: Approach potential letter-writers several weeks before the recommendation due-date. Explain the scholarship opportunity and your college goals and ask if the person would be willing to write a positive recommendation for you. Many teachers, coaches and guidance counselors receive numerous requests, so ask early and give them plenty of time.
- Brief Your Recommenders: Help those writing your recommendations by giving them a copy of your resume along with some "writing points". These materials will help them compose a thoughtful and comprehensive recommendation. Make sure to provide stamped envelopes properly addressed to your colleges -- along with a master list of schools and dates that the recommendations are due.
- Track Deadlines: Keep a due date log and be sure to follow-up before the deadlines. Teachers, counselors and coaches are extremely busy. Gently remind them of deadlines.
- Be Polite and Gracious: Recommendation letters can be time consuming to write. Be sure to show your appreciation. A hand-written thank you letter (from you) is a good idea.