When applying for scholarships, don’t overlook the importance of a good recommendation letter. The letter should inform the reader of who you are beyond the grades and test scores and why you would be a great fit for the scholarship.
The best person to write a recommendation for you is someone you are not related to and know well. Consider asking a teacher, an employer, a member of your clergy, a coach, a school counselor or an advisor. Remember they are doing you a great favor by writing a letter, so ask politely and make sure you thank them. Also, provide them with an adequate amount of time to write it and be understanding that they may have other letters to write. In fact, you may want to consider asking someone else if they’ve committed to too many others. Relieving them from writing another letter could result in a more thorough recommendation for you.
As they draft your recommendation, the writer should include a sentence or two about how they know you and how they know you will be successful.
Details to give the writer
- To whom the letter will be sent
- Your future plans and goals
- Suggestions on things to talk about
- The deadline for when it needs to be completed
- A copy of your resume and any other documents you think might be helpful
It might be helpful to send the letter writer a nice follow-up reminder before the application deadline approaches. While they’re wrapping up the letter, you can work on other items needed for your scholarship application. These may include your transcripts, standardized test scores, financial information, portfolio, resume and essay answers.