Sample Of Cover Letter For A Scholarship

Guest post: Isabel Ara López

When deciding who to grant a scholarship to, scholarship evaluation boards have a lot of information to take into consideration. In some cases, the decision will be based on academic excellence (high grades, language skills, good overall academic skills and record) or on economic factors (low income, family difficulties).

In many cases, you are required to attach a scholarship application cover letter, in which you should explain why you are applying for this specific scholarship and how it could help you achieve your education and career objectives. This is one of the best tools you can use to make your scholarship application a success, together with the correct submission of any other required documents. Here are some tips on how to write a compelling scholarship application cover letter.

1. Explain why you’re a good match for the scholarship

The scholarship application cover letter is an opportunity to outline your main strengths from an educational and professional perspective, your plans for future career growth, why you would be suitable for this scholarship, and how you would benefit if selected. Make sure you cover all of these points, using specific examples where possible.

2. Establish a formal tone, use a clear structure and check spellings

The cover letter should be written in a formal tone, and have a clear, concise, structured flow. Each applicant should also make sure to check for and correct any accidental spelling or grammar mistakes. To make sure you submit a successful cover letter, ask another person, with an objective eye, to read it before sending. This will minimize the risk of any spelling or grammatical errors, and can also help you eliminate any information that is unclear, redundant or irrelevant to what you are asking for.

3. Match your cover letter to the context

There are various situations of scholarship applications in which you would be requested to attach a cover letter. You may, at the same time, be applying for admission to an institution or a program. Or you may be requesting a grant or scholarship to cover tuition fees or other costs for a program you have already been admitted to.

If your letter is intended for the initial case, you should start with a formal address and greeting, followed by a short paragraph presenting your academic skills, achievements and strengths. The following paragraph should explain the reasons you would need a scholarship to fund your studies. The third paragraph should talk about how the specific program, course or project you are applying for will help you achieve your objectives, and how you can contribute during your studies. Do not forget to close with a formal, polite farewell.

If the letter is requesting funding for a program you have already been accepted to, there are a few aspects you should consider. The introduction should be similar to the structure above, emphasizing your academic skills. In the second paragraph you should emphasize your financial condition, and the reasons why you need the funding. In a third paragraph you can explain your interest in studying at that specific institution and how much you will be able to benefit from it.

In such cases, the institution may actually provide you with guidelines for the information to be included in the scholarship application cover letter, such as income data, career background etc.

To conclude the scholarship application cover letter is meant to highlight your strengths, academic skills and goals, and you should ensure you fully communicate all of these in order to ensure your success.

Get more tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay here.

You can browse our various scholarship listings here, and QS also offers its own scholarships. 

Isabel Ara López is a Spanish journalist, graduate of the University of Navarra in 2002, and currently working with the team at BecasEstudio, a website dedicated to providing information about scholarships for bachelor’s, master’s and MBA programs. The portal also provides information on how to apply for scholarships, how to improve your studies,and how to prepare for job interviews after graduation.

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Writing an Application Letter for Scholarship (with Samples)
Use these sample application letters for scholarship as templates for your formal notification.

There are many companies and organizations that donate scholarships each year to college students. To apply for this money for school, an application letter needs to be sent. The purpose of this letter is to convince the powers that be who they should award the money too.

​The content of this letter should be centered on academic accomplishments and stress leadership abilities and initiative. This letter must be correctly formatted with proper spelling and grammar. Any errors could be cause for an immediate rejection of the request.

Before writing anything, make sure to gather specifics that will be needed for the letter. Some scholarships have specific applications requirements and if these guidelines are not followed, they application can be instantly rejected.



Because of the importance of this letter, create an initial draft and look for any errors. The letter should begin with an introductory statement and the paragraphs following should also address the detailed reasons why this scholarship should be awarded. ​
Focus on the Educational & Career Goals

​The first paragraph should talk and focus on the educational and career goals of the applicant. It is appropriate to discuss interests and the chosen field of study. Give them all the reasons they want why they should invest in helping this person to further their education.

​It is always great to show a bit of passion in the area of course work. Organizations want to give their money to a student that is considered to be worthy, not give their money to someone who is going to drop out a few months later. ​

​The second paragraph needs to focus on strengths. If there are any extracurricular actives or if this person has done any community work, it should be stated here. Any academic awards also need to be listed in this paragraph. If a person was valedictorian or graduated with honors, be sure to highlight this in the second paragraph.

This paragraph is all about selling the person and their abilities a bit. Think that extracurricular stuff doesn’t matter, think again? The more a person is involved in school and the extra activities, the likelihood of them staying increases. ​​

Never Act Desperate for Money

A third paragraph targets why this person needs to be considered for the application. This should be spoken directly to the person/company that is handling out the money. It is necessary to be professional, but always be direct. Never act desperate for money, rather desperate for education and the money will help fund this. It is acceptable to talk about housing, books, food and all the costs associated with college. 

There may be room for a fourth paragraph, depending on how much a person has to write. Make the reviewer feel confident that the application they are looking at is a sure thing. Highlight any talents and let them feel some confidence that the program will be completed. Since this will probably be the closing paragraph, be sure to restate the goals including both carrier and educational.

​The letter should be around 1-2 pages and never go over the two page mark. Make the font 12 and use double spacing to make it easy to read. Always use resume or appropriate stationery paper so that it stands out from other letters. Check and recheck for clerical errors and make sure the letter is perfect.

Sample 1 - Application Letter for Scholarship
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

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 was excited to read about the [$10,000] scholarship that [Name of Institution] was giving to one lucky college student. My goal is to go to [Name of College] in [Name of City] to pursue a nursing degree. It has always been my passion to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. My mother was a nurse before her tragic passing, and she loved her patients and took care of them so well. By completing my nursing degree, I feel that I will not only further my career, but I will also pay tribute to my mother who gave her life for her calling. Being a nurse means everything to me. 

I graduated from [Name of High School] in [YEAR] with honors. I took a year off to travel and see the world, but now I am ready to get back into school. I was an active student at my high school. I served on the debate team and also ran for class president. I was class valedictorian and like to get involved in any extracurricular activities that the school offered. I believe in not just attending school but also getting involved in it. 

[Name of Head of Scholarship Committee], I know that you will receive numerous applications for this scholarship. I am hoping that you will consider my application and allow me to fulfill my dream of being a nurse. The medical field is challenging and one that has difficult classes; however, I feel that I will have no problem arising to this challenge. To be a nurse means everything to me, but with the cost of room and board, books and all the other charges, it is going to be tight. I appreciate your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Signature of Applicant
Printed Name of Applicant
List of Enclosures
Sample 2 - Application Letter for Scholarship
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

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].

Sincerely,

Signature of Applicant
Printed Name of Applicant
List of Enclosures

By Andre Bradley

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