Students who are applying for scholarships to attend college are up against a lot of competition. They need to submit an application, on the required form, to the scholarship committee of their choice and include a cover letter. The letter requesting a scholarship is the first thing a committee will see and in many cases the only thing they will see. If the letter doesn’t impress them, they may not even look at the application form.
The letter requesting a scholarship should be clear and concise. The scholarship committee will be looking at hundreds of such letters, and the ones that clearly state the purpose in a brief but thorough way will be the ones that are remembered. It is also important for the applicant to present him or herself as a good candidate for the scholarship. This means that they have the required initiative and motivation to make good use of the money.
The first thing the applicant should do is find out what the scholarship committee requires. For example, they may be more impressed if the applicant has participated in community service programs or held down a responsible job. Scholarship applications are not all the same. The applicant must get detailed information about the specific requirements and guidelines.
The introductory paragraph should briefly state the applicant’s reason for writing the letter as well as the name of the scholarship. This paragraph can have a list of qualifications the applicant feels will make them the ideal candidate for the scholarship. Only two to four should be listed. The letter should fit on one page, so reading it isn’t a burden for the receiver.
Two or three examples of how the applicant meets the qualifications required to receive the scholarship should go in the second paragraph. These may be contained in the application form, but they will be highlighted if they are listed here.
The applicant should thank the committee for considering his or her application and state that they hope to hear from the committee soon. The letter should have correct grammar and spelling and not use any slang or inappropriate language. This is not the place to mention hardships and personal problems although they can mention why they need the scholarship. The aim of the letter is to highlight the strengths of the applicant, his or her academic record and educational goals.
Here is a sample letter requesting a scholarship. It should be addressed to the chairman of the scholarship committee and not To Whom It May Concern. The applicant can call the college or look on the website and find out the name of the concerned person. The letter should be in formal business-style and sent by certified mail, so the sender knows when it was received. If possible, the applicant should ask a teacher or counsellor to check the letter and make any changes that may increase their chances of success. Copies of all communication including a copy of the application should be kept by the applicant.
Sample Letter Requesting Scholarship
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Head of Scholarship Committee
Name of Scholarship or Institution
Address of Institution
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Application for [NAME of SCHOLARSHIP] cover letter
Dear Name of Head of Scholarship Committee:
I am submitting this application for the [NAME of SCHOLARSHIP] to further my education in environmental studies. I have studied for two years in [Name of University] and require financial assistance to complete my degree in Environmental Science. I have worked part-time in a recycling center for the past two years and wish to work in the field of environmental sustainability. However, I need a degree to advance in this field.
I spent the last two years of high school volunteering in a waste management facility in the city and have gained a lot of experience in the field. I won an award for creative management for recycling plastic water bottles. My goal is to work to have an impact on many environmental issues such as solar power, wind power as well as waste management. One of the most profound experiences of my life was a trip I took to see the island of waste in the northern Pacific Ocean.
If I am fortunate enough to receive this scholarship, I will finish my degree to qualify for a job in a company that promotes sustainability in their business ethic. My father died five years ago and I was able to pay for my first two years at university with the insurance money, but my mother is no longer able to support my university tuition.
Thank you for considering my application. I have enclosed a recommendation letter from my university councilor along with the application form and my transcripts. I hope to hear from you soon. I can be reached at [555-123-4567] or at [Name@email.com].
Signature of Applicant
Printed Name of Applicant
List of Enclosures