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Free Printable Letter of Recommendation for Scholarship Template [Word, PDF]

    Scholarships are a beacon of hope for numerous talented students who aspire to further their education but are hindered by financial constraints. This article explores the indispensable role of a well-crafted letter of recommendation in their journey towards securing these much-needed scholarships.

    A potent tool in any scholarship application, these letters offer a unique opportunity to showcase the candidate’s skills, potential, and character from a third-person perspective, often providing the much-needed edge in highly competitive processes. Join us as we demystify the art of composing a persuasive letter of recommendation, casting a deserving spotlight on worthy students’ abilities and achievements.

    What is a Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship?

    Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship
    Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship

    A Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship is a document written by a person, usually someone who knows the applicant well, such as a teacher, coach, employer, or mentor, to endorse the applicant’s qualifications and character for a scholarship. It outlines the candidate’s skills, achievements, and potential, providing a third-party perspective that helps the scholarship committee gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s suitability.

    This letter often highlights the student’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments, personal character, and motivation, offering a comprehensive view of their readiness and capability to fully utilize the scholarship if granted.

    Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship Templates

    Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship templates are preformatted documents designed to support candidates seeking financial aid for academic pursuits. These templates provide a framework to present a student’s achievements, character, and potential in a compelling manner.

    Found in formats such as Word documents or PDFs, these templates contain sections for the recommender’s details, relationship to the student, academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and personal attributes of the candidate. Scholarships often require such letters to evaluate a candidate’s suitability and distinction from other applicants.

    These templates emphasize academic prowess, leadership qualities, community involvement, and personal resilience. They guide writers to provide specific examples that showcase the student’s excellence and dedication, offering a holistic view of the candidate.

    Who should write Recommendation Letter for Scholarship?

    Choosing the right person to write a recommendation letter is key to a compelling scholarship application. Here is a detailed guide on who should write a Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship:

    1. Teachers or Professors: A teacher or professor who knows the student well and can speak about their academic abilities, work ethic, and potential is usually the best choice. They can provide insights into the student’s performance, commitment to learning, and how they compare to their peers. A teacher in the field of study that aligns with the scholarship would be particularly effective.
    2. School Counselors or Principals: School counselors or principals can provide a holistic view of the student’s achievements and character. They can talk about the student’s role within the school community, their leadership skills, and their extracurricular activities.
    3. Coaches or Club Advisors: If the student is significantly involved in an extracurricular activity, a coach or club advisor can highlight the student’s commitment, teamwork, leadership, and other qualities that may not be visible in the classroom.
    4. Employers or Internship Supervisors: If the student has work or internship experience, their employer or supervisor can testify to their professionalism, reliability, skills, and how they handle real-world work situations.
    5. Mentors or Community Leaders: If the student is involved in community service or other projects outside school, a mentor or community leader can discuss the student’s initiative, impact, and the role they play in the community.
    6. Research Advisors: For students involved in research projects, a research advisor can comment on their research skills, problem-solving abilities, dedication, and the significance of their work.

    When choosing the right person to write your recommendation letter, consider the following:

    • Familiarity: Choose someone who knows you well, who can provide specific examples and anecdotes about you, and can write a personalized and detailed letter.
    • Relevance: The person you choose should be relevant to the scholarship. For instance, if it’s a science scholarship, a science teacher or research advisor would be a good choice.
    • Credibility: The recommender should be someone who is respected and holds a certain level of authority or credibility, as their endorsement can add significant weight to your application.
    • Willingness: The recommender should be someone who is genuinely happy to recommend you and has the time and interest to write a thoughtful letter.

    Purpose of Recommendation Letters in Scholarship Applications

    Recommendation letters play a crucial role in scholarship applications for a variety of reasons. Here is a comprehensive guide detailing their purpose:

    1. Verification of Information: Recommendation letters serve to corroborate the information provided by the applicant. They are an external validation of the claims made about academic prowess, skills, and personal character traits, lending credibility to the application.
    2. Holistic Evaluation: A well-written recommendation letter allows the committee to evaluate an applicant in a more rounded, holistic manner. It sheds light not only on the applicant’s academic performance but also their personal qualities, leadership abilities, community service, and other non-academic achievements, offering insights into the candidate’s potential that might not be evident from grades or test scores alone.
    3. Differentiation of Candidates: In highly competitive scholarship programs, many applicants may have similar academic records. Recommendation letters can highlight unique strengths, achievements, or circumstances that set a candidate apart, helping them stand out in the sea of applicants.
    4. Personalization: A recommendation letter brings a personal touch to the application, humanizing the applicant beyond the numerical metrics of GPA and test scores. It provides a narrative about the candidate, often sharing anecdotes and examples that give the committee a sense of who the applicant truly is.
    5. Demonstration of Character: The letter can testify to the candidate’s qualities such as resilience, leadership, integrity, creativity, or dedication, which are highly valued but may be hard to convey through an application form or personal statement. It often underscores the candidate’s personal growth and how they’ve applied their skills or overcome challenges.
    6. Potential Predictor: The endorsement from a trusted source can serve as a predictor of the candidate’s future success. It can demonstrate the applicant’s readiness to take on the responsibilities that come with the scholarship and their potential to make the most of this opportunity.
    7. Supporting the Application’s Theme: If the scholarship is geared towards a specific field, interest, or talent, a recommendation letter can reinforce the candidate’s suitability by underlining relevant accomplishments or passion in that area.

    Letter of Recommendation For Scholarship Format

    A well-structured Letter of Recommendation for a Scholarship generally follows this format:

    1. Sender’s Contact Information: Include your name, title, company (if applicable), address, phone number, and email.

    2. Date: The date the letter was written.

    3. Recipient’s Contact Information (if known): The name, title, and address of the scholarship committee or specific person if known. If not, use a general greeting such as “Dear Scholarship Committee”.

    4. Salutation: A formal greeting, such as “Dear [Recipient’s Name]” or “Dear Members of the Scholarship Committee”.

    5. Introduction: In the first paragraph, introduce yourself, your position, and your relationship to the applicant. Include the length of time you have known the student and in what capacity.

    6. Body: This should be 2-3 paragraphs detailing the student’s qualifications for the scholarship. Highlight their academic abilities, personal qualities, achievements, and potential. Use specific examples or anecdotes to illustrate your points. Explain why you believe the student is an excellent candidate for the scholarship.

    7. Conclusion: Wrap up the letter by summarizing why you believe the student deserves the scholarship. Reiterate your recommendation and provide a strong closing statement.

    8. Closing and Signature: Use a formal closing such as “Sincerely” or “Respectfully”, followed by your printed name and signed name.

    9. Enclosure (if applicable): If you are including additional materials, like a resume, indicate this here.

    How to Write Recommendation Letter for Scholarship

    Writing a letter of recommendation for a scholarship involves several key steps:

    Step 1: Understand the Scholarship Criteria

    Gain a clear understanding of what the scholarship committee is looking for in a candidate. Understand the qualifications, qualities, and skills the scholarship values. This will help you tailor the recommendation letter to highlight the relevant aspects of the student’s capabilities and achievements.

    Step 2: Gather Information

    Collect all necessary information about the student. This could include their resume, academic transcripts, details about their extracurricular activities, and their personal statement for the scholarship. The more detailed information you have, the better you can articulate their suitability for the scholarship.

    Step 3: Start with Formal Salutation

    Begin the letter with a formal salutation like “Dear [Recipient’s Name]” or “Dear Scholarship Committee”.

    Step 4: Introduction

    In the first paragraph, introduce yourself, your position, and your relationship to the student. Mention how long you’ve known them and in what context.

    Step 5: Discuss the Student’s Abilities

    In the body of the letter, discuss the student’s skills, abilities, and qualifications that make them a strong candidate for the scholarship. These should align with the scholarship’s criteria. Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points.

    Step 6: Highlight the Student’s Character

    Beyond academic abilities or specific skills, discuss the student’s personal character. This could include qualities like resilience, leadership, creativity, dedication, and more. Again, use specific examples to provide a clear picture of the student’s personality and attitude.

    Step 7: Provide a Comparative Assessment (if applicable)

    If possible, provide a comparative assessment of the student with their peers. This gives the scholarship committee context about the student’s performance and potential.

    Step 8: Conclusion

    Conclude the letter by summarizing why the student deserves the scholarship. Reaffirm your recommendation and highlight their potential once more.

    Step 9: Formal Closing

    Close the letter with a formal closing such as “Sincerely” or “Respectfully,” followed by your printed name and signed name.

    Step 10: Proofread

    Before sending it off, make sure to proofread the letter for any grammatical errors or awkward phrasing. Ensure that the letter is professional and coherent.

    Step 11: Send the Letter

    Send the letter to the designated recipient or place it in a sealed envelope if the student is submitting it along with their application.

    Tips for Writing a Scholarship Recommendation Letter

    Writing a scholarship recommendation letter is a significant responsibility, as your endorsement can significantly impact a student’s chance of receiving a scholarship. Here are some tips to help you write an effective recommendation letter:

    Understand the Scholarship Requirements

    Every scholarship has unique requirements and seeks different qualities in its candidates. Make sure you understand what the scholarship is looking for so you can highlight those specific qualities and accomplishments of the student.

    Know the Student Well

    Spend some time talking to the student about their goals, experiences, achievements, and reasons for applying for the scholarship. This can give you a fuller picture of the student, enabling you to write a more comprehensive and personalized letter.

    Use Specific Examples

    Rather than using vague descriptors, provide specific examples that illustrate the student’s skills, achievements, and character. Concrete instances make your letter more credible and impactful.

    Be Honest and Positive

    While you want to present the student in the best light possible, it’s also important to be honest. Avoid exaggerating or making unfounded claims. Maintain a positive tone throughout the letter, focusing on the student’s strengths and potential.

    Avoid Clichés

    Clichés can make your letter sound generic and less convincing. Use original descriptions and focus on the unique aspects of the student’s character and experiences.

    Keep it Professional and Concise

    Although the recommendation letter should be personalized, remember to keep it professional. Also, be concise. Aim for one full single-spaced page as a general rule, but definitely not more than two.

    Follow a Logical Structure

    Your letter should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should identify who you are and your relationship with the student. The body should discuss the student’s skills and achievements, and the conclusion should reiterate your endorsement of the student.


    Check for any grammatical errors, typos, or awkward phrasing. Make sure your letter presents a professional image.

    Use Letterhead and Sign the Letter

    If possible, print the letter on professional letterhead, and don’t forget to sign it. This adds a level of professionalism and formality.

    Close Strong

    End the letter by unequivocally stating that you recommend the student for the scholarship. This leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about your endorsement.

    Template recommendation letter for a scholarship

    [Your Name]

    [Your Title]

    [Your Institution (if applicable)]

    [Your Address] [City, State, Zip]

    [Your Email] [Today’s Date]

    [Recipient’s Name]

    [Recipient’s Position]

    [Recipient’s Address]

    [City, State, Zip]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name or Scholarship Committee],

    I am writing to recommend [Student’s Full Name] for the [Name of the Scholarship]. As [Your Relationship to the Student—e.g., their teacher, supervisor, mentor], I have had the opportunity to observe their academic abilities and personal qualities up close for the past [length of time you’ve known the student].

    In my experience, it is rare to come across a student like [Student’s Name]. [He/She/They] truly stands out for [his/her/their] exceptional [mention a few key qualities or strengths of the student, such as intelligence, work ethic, leadership, creativity, etc.]. During the time that I’ve known [Student’s Name], I have been impressed by [his/her/their] ability to [mention a notable achievement or skill of the student, and how it adds value].

    One instance that stands out to me in particular is when [Student’s Name] [mention a specific example or anecdote that demonstrates the student’s ability or character]. This experience demonstrated not only [Student’s Name]’s ability to handle [specific challenge or requirement], but also [his/her/their] dedication to [relevant goal or value].

    Given [Student’s Name]’s proven talent for [mention a key strength or achievement] and commitment to [mention a relevant goal, skill, or character trait], I am confident that [he/she/they] would be an excellent recipient for the [Name of the Scholarship]. I have no doubt that [he/she/they] will bring the same drive and dedication to [his/her/their] studies and make the most of this scholarship opportunity.

    Thank you for considering my recommendation. If you require any further information, please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information].


    [Your Name]

    [Your Signature]


    How early should I ask for a scholarship recommendation letter?

    Ideally, you should ask at least a month before the scholarship deadline. This gives the writer enough time to craft a thoughtful and detailed letter.

    Can a family member write a scholarship recommendation letter?

    While there’s no rule that strictly forbids it, it’s generally not recommended. Scholarship committees usually prefer letters from non-relatives who can provide an unbiased assessment of your abilities and character.

    Do I need to provide any information to the person writing my letter?

    Yes, it’s helpful to provide them with information about the scholarship and why you’re applying. You might also give them your resume, academic transcript, and a list of your extracurricular activities to help them write a more detailed letter.

    How long a scholarship recommendation letter be?

    Generally, scholarship recommendation letters should be between one and two pages long. They should be long enough to provide detailed insight about the applicant but concise enough to be easily readable.

    Can recommendation letters be submitted after the application deadline?

    Generally, all application materials, including recommendation letters, should be submitted by the deadline. Late submissions may not be considered, but it’s best to check with the specific scholarship provider.

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    Betina Jessen

    Betina Jessen

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