Getting a Letter of Recommendation for Scholarship Awards

One of the most overlooked requirements by candidates seeking financial aid is the letter of recommendation. With increased competition driven by rapidly rising costs of tuition at colleges, universities, and technical schools, you must distinguish yourself from the large crop of applicants. A high grade point average (GPA) is certainly valuable, but for high school juniors and seniors, it might be difficult to recover from poor performance as a freshman or sophomore; indeed, you may have difficulty reaching the 3.0 mark if you did not excel in those first two years. You can distinguish yourself through community involvement and letters of recommendation from educators, employers, and community leaders.

The value of a letter of recommendation is directly related to the position and character of the author as well as the level of detail provided about you. You can get multiple letters of recommendation and choose the right match for a particular scholarship application. For example, if you are applying for a scholarship that is for a business school program, consider using a letter of recommendation from your employer.

If a scholarship program is for a public service degree, a community leader can be helpful; indeed, this is why it is important for you to dedicate some of your free time in service of your church or other civic groups.

Approaching someone to write a letter of recommendation can be an anxiety-filled experience, but when you are confident that you have done a good job in school, at your employer, or in a community service capacity, you can count on your educator, boss, or community organizer to write a glowing recommendation.

An honest appraisal of your attributes is appreciated by the trustees who review candidates for scholarship awards and ensures you find the right match in aid. If the person you seek a recommendation from is inexperienced in the art of authoring such letters, use the internet to find examples and customize for your own needs.

As stated above, you should collect multiple letters of recommendation; however, do not badger anyone for a letter and use good judgment when making the request. If you have never worked or been involved with the community, you can request a letter of recommendation from your clergy.

It is difficult to compete with other scholarship candidates that are involved in their communities, so become involved even if you only have your senior year remaining to do it. Getting a letter of recommendation for scholarship applications helps you practice making requests of people you respect, and that alone would be a great lesson for your life.

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