A letter of recommendation is a one-pager endorsement document written by the employer or teachers of and for the candidate. The recipient of the recommendation letter learns about the qualities of the candidate from the person who knows the candidate well.
When a student is applying for a scholarship, then the candidate will most probably need at least two recommendation letters written by the professors of previously attended colleges or university. These letters can be from the candidate’s employer or professors. They are meant to provide a personal insight into the student’s character, academic performance, and personality traits by having an endorsement from somebody who has been in close contact with the student.
While highlighting the student’s accomplishments and his/her character, recommendation letters can help students get a scholarship as well. These kinds of recommendation letters are called ‘recommendation letters for scholarship’.
Recommendation Letters Writing Instructions
First of all, make sure that you know the student well enough to make a strong recommendation for the candidate. These letters of recommendation carry great importance and writing a bland letter can jeopardize that student’s chance of getting a scholarship.
Find out what the scholarship is for. Different kinds of scholarship programs are meant for different students with different skill sets. Know about the scholarship program of your student’s interest to make sure you emphasize the right facts.
Think long and hard about what makes your student a good student. Think of any experience or encounter with the student in question that has impressed you. That way, the letter will sound genuine and will have a strong impact.
Main Components of a Recommendation Letter:
Recommendation letters are written according to the abilities and qualifications of an individual student. But, most of them have some key components to work with:
- A starting paragraph, that is meant to outline the professor’s relationship with the student.
- Letter Body (wherein the teacher explains why he/she thinks that the student should be awarded the scholarship)
- A sum-up where you reiterate what you have said before.
- Contact info and the professor’s signature
What to Include and What Not to Include in a Letter of Recommendation?
- Begin the letter by stating why you think you are qualified enough to make an assessment of the student. This will include explaining your relationship with the student.
- Illuminate the student’s strong points and strengths. Tailor it to match the requirements of the scholarship. This doesn’t mean that you should fabricate facts. You should just be focused on those characteristics that are being looked for in a potential scholarship recipient.
- If the scholarship program is focused on an excellent academic record, the professor can go about saying that the student in question is one of the best students they have ever taught, or that he/she was the best student in his/her batch.
- Only agree to write the recommendation when you feel like you have enough on your plate to make a positive assessment of the student. Don’t do so if you have doubts about it.
- Make sure that you ask if there is a prescribed method for writing the letter to follow. You should also know when and how to submit the letter.
- Use real examples and experiences. You shouldn’t proceed to use adjectives like John is hardworking, intelligent, and proactive. Instead, say how John has organized a successful event regarding mental health highlighting John’s leadership and organizing skills.
- Use concrete and clear terms to describe the student. It shows focus and draws a clear and accurate picture of the student. Such recommendation letters are also given more importance by the scholarship committees because most other letters lack concreteness.
Sample Recommendation Letter:
Designation of person.
Dear Members of the Scholarship Committee,
I have been acquainted with ‘Student Name Here’ for the past three years. I am his Social and Business Studies teacher. I cannot stress enough how ‘Student Name Here’ can be an asset to ABC college.
‘Student Name Here’ is an excellent student who doesn’t hesitate to challenge himself with things that can be out of his comfort zone. He participates actively in class and group discussions and is the president of the school’s declamation society. He provides part-time teaching assistantship by helping first-year business major students with their subjects.
Every year ‘Student Name Here’ holds a declamation contest in which he himself also participates as a contestant despite being busy with administrative duties. This shows his leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills.
I strongly believe that he possesses the qualities you are looking for in your next scholarship recipient. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have about him by contacting me through my email address [email protected].
Recommender Name Here,
Social Studies and Business Management Teacher,
XYZ High School.