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Letter of Recommendation for Scholarship: What You Should Know

3 Min Read
December 08, 2022

After scrolling through several scholarship sites, you may find one requirement in common: a letter of recommendation. So, what is a letter of recommendation? And, why does it matter? Read on to check out what is a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, including who you can ask to write them, and some helpful tips!

What is a Letter of Recommendation for Scholarship?

A letter of recommendation is a document that provides insights into yourself as a student and as a person from the perspective of a referee who knows you well. 

Be strategic in deciding who to ask to be your referee. Your referee should demonstrate why you're a suitable fit for the scholarship. They should already know you for at least a year and stayed in touch with you recently. They should have regular contact with you so that they can speak well about your academic strengths, characters, and role in the community. 

In this way, the scholarship committee can obtain an objective perspective or a second opinion on who you are. This allows them to gain a comprehensive understanding of you and verify your character or performance with the information you've presented in other documents, including your motivation letter and CV.

Who should you ask to write your letter of recommendation for scholarship?

Although each scholarship has different requirements for the referee of a recommendation letter, scholarship committees typically don't look at recommendation letters from personal relationships. Therefore, a family member, a partner, or a friend cannot be a referee.

In addition, try to match your referee with the type of scholarship you're applying for. For instance, if you're applying for a scholarship in the STEM field, you can pick your science or math teacher to be your referee. Choose someone who understands you well to get a strong letter of recommendation!

Tips on Getting a Strong Letter

Ask early - Chances are, your referee will have several different responsibilities. Therefore, it is highly recommended to contact them about three or four weeks before the deadline so that they have enough time to write a compelling letter.

Provide valuable details - Be sure to give your referee enough details, including who to send the letter to, the deadline, as well as the instructions. You can also send a copy of your CV and academic transcript, which might help them get a better picture of your skills and performance. 

Remind, remind, and remind - When the time to apply has arrived and you don't have your letter of recommendation for scholarship, you may lose the chance to land the scholarship of your dreams. Therefore, remind your referee to submit their letter a few days before the deadline. Mark the date on your calendar, if possible!

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