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Applying for Scholarships: Writing the Letter

written by: jciotta•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 8/6/2013

Need help with your scholarship application? Learn tips on formatting letter and what to include. There is also a sample letter included in this article that you can copy, paste and adjust to your needs.

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    Getting Started

    Scholarship Sample Essay When writing a scholarship letter, you always want to put your best foot forward. The idea is to construct a letter that informs the scholarship organization of your existence and qualifications. You also want to be as concise as possible.

    To begin, the format is very important. You must adhere to a business style format. In other words, put the recipient's name, organization name, street address and city/state/zip code up top. Space a few lines and put the date. Then space a few more lines and write your greeting.

    For the greeting, it is best to write "Dear Mr./Mr./Ms." Find out the person's name. This shows you care enough to take the time to research a little. Address the recipient as "Dear Mr. Smith" not "Dear Mr. Thomas Smith." Dear plus the last name is business style.

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    The Body of the Letter

    In the first paragraph, state why you are writing to the organization. What are you intentions? State the type of scholarship you wish to apply for if there is more than one option.

    In the second paragraph, mention the most important qualities that make you relevant for the scholarship. Do so in a concise and humble way -- blatant bragging will not work. This is your opportunity for the organization to see why you are eligible. For example, writing "I'm the best musician in my school" will get you nowhere. However, constructing your qualifications with concrete facts is the right way to go. So write this instead: "I am the first chair for saxophone in my school's jazz band. I perform two solos in every concert and I have started my own jazz band on weekends." A statement like this shows the straight facts, but not in a boastful way.

    Also, include relevant information to the scholarship. If it is a music scholarship, talk about your music qualifications. It doesn't matter that you play shortstop on your high school baseball team. If it is a general scholarship, for example, a scholarship awarding money for community service then list all of your significant community service activities. You can write: "I am a candy striper at the local hospital for ten hours a week, working in the pediatric ward. I also volunteer at a local homeless shelter for another ten hours a week serving dinner and reading to homeless children."

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    In Closing

    In the last paragraph, simply ask for the letter recipient to send you the scholarship application and materials. End by saying thank you and how you look forward to hearing from her/him. Close the letter with "Sincerely, Your Name" and underneath type your contact information such as address, phone number and email.

    The letter must be concise and to the point. Paragraphs must be short, highlighting the most relevant information. Remember that the recipient will only take ten seconds or so to browse your letter. So be upfront and straightforward. At the same time, remember your goal is to obtain scholarship money from the organization, so always write in a polite and courteous tone.

    Below is a sample letter you can use as a model.

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    Sample Letter

    Jane Smith

    Deer Scholarship Organization

    200 Deer Drive

    Sterling, MI 55555

    June 20, 2010

    Dear Ms. Smith,

    I am very interested in applying for the Deer Scholarship for Women or any other financial assistance opportunities available to high school seniors who are entering college in the fall.

    I feel I am a qualified candidate for this scholarship because I have a 3.5 GPA and I am captain of the women's softball and tennis teams at my school. I also founded a local organization called Teaching Women to Read. I pair illiterate women in the community with high school tutors, oversee and maintain the organization's website and I tutor two women for ten hours a week.

    Please send me the scholarship application and other necessary information to apply for the Deer Scholarship for Women.

    Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Leslie Rutherford

    1500 Lake Road

    Woonton, MI 00000


    Now that you have a model sample letter to apply for scholarships, go ahead and write one yourself. As long as the letter is short and sweet and conveys your eligibility and overall politeness then the organization should send you all the information you need. Stick to the above model and you'll be on your way to receiving scholarship money.

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    Free Scholarship Templates --

    Photo by Graur Razvan Ionut / --


  • Photo by Graur Razvan Ionut / --
  • Free Scholarship Templates --