40 Amazing Scholarship Recommendation Letter Samples

“When I was in college, I worked and paid my way through school myself!” You’ve probably heard this saying before. Twenty years ago, this was the thing to do.  But nowadays, with the minimum wage unable to sustain the cost of living, students are looking for ways to pay for school that don’t leave them in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. With the ever-rising cost of education, scholarships have become the only viable option for many students to get a quality education without paying a gruesome price for it.

But what is a scholarship? What do you need to get one? And what is this dreaded letter of recommendation?

What is a Scholarship?

This is a question that most students don’t understand going into the application process and that’s ok! A scholarship is an award of financial aid given to students to further their education. Scholarships range from the serious, such as for students who have a large financial need, to the ridiculous, such as financial awards for students who own specific pets.

They are a wonderful way for students to reduce their financial responsibility and debt upon graduating college, often being referred to as “Free Money” by students because some scholarships are easy to get. Scholarships can finance years of education or even study abroad opportunities. No matter what kind of scholarship you are applying for, attaining one allows you to rest easy, knowing that you have lessened your financial burden.

Applications for scholarships can be found on a variety of websites and, often, your school can direct you to local opportunities to earn scholarships. Some schools even have counselors who will be more than happy to help walk you through the application process for scholarships. Some universities even use your college application to determine your eligibility for scholarships directly from the university! The opportunities for scholarships are endless! You just have to look!

A Scholarship Recommendation Letter

All scholarships have different requirements for the application process. For the majority of scholarships, you will need a letter of recommendation. These letters are usually written by a teacher or other adult mentor who can give a good overall picture of you as a student and your character as a person. These are essential to attach, even when not asked for, to provide the committee deciding on scholarship recipients with a basis to set you apart from the rest of the crowd.

When asked for a letter of recommendation, a lot of students get intimidated. But, letters of recommendation allow a scholarship committee to look into the depth of your qualifications for specific scholarships and get a better picture of why you are truly deserving of their money. For this committee, a scholarship is an investment and they want to make sure that you have a good return on that investment.

All letters of recommendation have different requirements, so make sure that you read your application fully to see if they want you to make sure specific things are covered. Sometimes, a recommendation can even be in the form of a questionnaire that they ask you to have someone fill out. Other times, they truly want your teacher to write a letter of recommendation from scratch. Teachers do this all the time for their students, especially those in secondary grades and they are familiar with being asked to do so. Don’t be shy about asking them!

Scholarship Recommendation Letter Templates

Free Printable Nursing School Scholarship Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Free Fillable Organization Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word Document

Free Customizable Committee Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Free Customizable Medical Student Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Free Customizable School Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word Document

Free Customizable University Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Free Fillable Organization Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word Document

Free Customizable School Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word Document

Free Customizable School Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template 03 for Word Document
Free Printable Rhodes Scholarship Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Free Printable City of Chicago Scholarship Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Free Customizable Rhodes Scholarship Recommendation Letter Template for Word Document

Free Printable Science University Scholarship Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

    The Essentials of Scholarship Recommendation Letter

    Now that you know you need a letter of recommendation, you’re probably asking, “What do I need to make sure is in a good letter?” This can be tricky, especially if you’re the one asking for the letter and not the one writing the letter. If you’re the one asking for the letter, here are a few important things to consider before you even have the letter in your hands.

    If you’re the one asking for the letter, make sure you are asking yourself these questions:

    • Am I asking the most appropriate person to write this letter?
    • Am I giving them enough time to finish this letter?
    • Does this person have enough information to write the letter? (Make sure they have your grades, your major, what scholarship it is, a copy of the application, and even a letter from you persuading them that you are the correct candidate.)
    • Should I write the letter for this person and ask them to sign it? (If you go this route, make sure that you talk to the person in advance and that you write a realistic letter if they agree. Scholarship committees will sometimes call a recommender if they need more information, so this route is good but not advisable.

    If you’re the one writing the letter, here are the basic things you need to make sure your letter includes:

    • Formal Letterhead (if you are a teacher, put it on your school’s letterhead)
    • Professional formatting (we will cover this later)
    • Formal address to the reader (this is one of the few places “To Whom It May Concern” can be used!)
    • A brief restatement of the scholarship requirements
    • How the candidate you are recommending meet those requirements
    • The student’s grades or accomplishments
    • A few positive points of interest for the scholarship committee
    • Your signature

    If your letter includes all of the above points, you have a rather strong letter of recommendation that will cause the committee to take a good look at you as a candidate.

    Template Scholarship Recommendation Letter

    [Your Name]

    [Your Position/Title]

    [Your Institution/Organization]

    [Institution/Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Your Email Address]

    [Your Phone Number]


    [Scholarship Committee Name or Title]

    [Institution/Organization Offering the Scholarship]

    [Address of the Institution/Organization]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Scholarship Committee Name or “Members of the Scholarship Committee”],

    I am writing to strongly recommend [Applicant’s Full Name] for the [Name of the Scholarship] offered by [Institution or Organization’s Name]. As [Your Relationship to the Applicant, e.g., “their teacher,” “mentor,” or “employer”], I have known [Applicant’s Name] for [Length of Time] and have been impressed by their dedication, intellect, and achievements in [Relevant Field/Area of Study or Activity].

    [Applicant’s Name] has demonstrated exceptional [Academic Performance/Leadership Skills/Community Involvement] throughout [his/her/their] time at [Institution/Organization/School]. Notably, [he/she/they] achieved [Mention any significant academic honors, awards, or distinctions], which speaks volumes about [his/her/their] commitment to [his/her/their] studies and [his/her/their] ability to excel in challenging environments.

    In addition to academic excellence, [Applicant’s Name] has shown remarkable leadership and initiative in [Describe specific extracurricular activities, projects, or community service]. For example, [he/she/they] [Describe a specific achievement or project], demonstrating [skills/qualities, e.g., “creativity,” “teamwork,” “dedication to community service”]. These experiences have not only contributed to [his/her/their] personal growth but also positively impacted those around [him/her/them].

    [Applicant’s Name]’s personal qualities further distinguish [him/her/them] as a deserving recipient of this scholarship. [His/Her/Their] resilience, empathy, and integrity, evidenced by [Provide a specific example or anecdote], make [him/her/them] a role model for [his/her/their] peers. [He/She/They] approaches challenges with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, characteristics that are essential for success in [his/her/their] future academic and professional endeavors.

    I am confident that [Applicant’s Name] will utilize the opportunities provided by the [Name of the Scholarship] to further [his/her/their] education and continue to make significant contributions to [his/her/their] field of study and community. [His/Her/Their] passion, combined with [his/her/their] proven track record of excellence and leadership, makes [him/her/them] an exemplary candidate for this prestigious award.

    Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] if you require any additional information or insights regarding [Applicant’s Name]’s application. I am eager to provide any support that will assist in your selection process.

    Thank you for considering [Applicant’s Name] for the [Name of the Scholarship]. I am confident that [he/she/they] will exceed your expectations and represent your organization with distinction.


    [Your Name]

    [Your Position/Title]

    [Your Institution/Organization]

    Sample Scholarship Recommendation Letters

    Sample Letter 1

    Dear Scholarship Selection Committee,

    I am writing to express my strongest recommendation for Emily Carter for the Bright Future Scholarship Foundation award at Riverdale University. As Emily’s professor and academic advisor for the past three years, I have witnessed her remarkable growth, academic excellence, and unwavering commitment to environmental conservation.

    Emily has consistently demonstrated her intellectual curiosity and dedication to her studies in Environmental Science. She has maintained a 3.98 GPA, showcasing her ability to grasp complex concepts and her passion for learning. Notably, her research project on sustainable water resource management received top honors at our university’s annual research symposium, highlighting her innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

    Beyond her academic achievements, Emily has proven herself as a leader and an active member of our university community. As President of the Environmental Club, she led several initiatives, including a campus-wide recycling program and a monthly environmental awareness campaign, significantly increasing student participation and promoting sustainability practices among her peers.

    Emily’s resilience, compassion, and leadership extend beyond academic settings. She has volunteered over 200 hours at the local community garden, teaching children about the importance of conservation and sustainable living. These experiences reflect her genuine desire to make a positive impact on the environment and her community.

    I am confident that Emily Carter is an exemplary candidate for the Bright Future Scholarship Foundation award. Her academic prowess, leadership, and dedication to environmental conservation make her stand out as a student who will not only benefit from this opportunity but will also contribute to Riverdale University’s mission of fostering sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

    Emily is poised to achieve great things in her academic and future professional career, and the support from the Bright Future Scholarship Foundation will be instrumental in helping her realize her potential. I wholeheartedly support her application and am excited about the prospects of her future contributions to the field of Environmental Science.

    Please feel free to contact me if you need further information or specific examples of Emily’s work and achievements. I am more than happy to provide additional details to support her application.

    Thank you for considering Emily Carter for this prestigious scholarship. I am confident that she will make the most of this opportunity and continue to inspire those around her with her dedication and passion for making a difference.


    Dr. Alice Johnson

    Associate Professor of Environmental Science

    Riverdale University

    Sample Letter 2

    Dear Scholarship Committee,

    I am honored to recommend Sophia Rodriguez for the Pen & Paper Literary Scholarship offered by your esteemed foundation. As Sophia’s advisor and professor in several advanced literature courses at Grandview University, I have had the privilege of witnessing her profound dedication to literary studies, her exceptional analytical abilities, and her genuine passion for creative writing over the past four years.

    Sophia’s academic record is a testament to her dedication and talent in the field of literature. She has excelled in her coursework, maintaining a 4.0 GPA in her major, and her essays and analyses often provide unique insights into literary works, combining depth of understanding with original thought. Her paper on the evolution of narrative voice in 20th-century literature was published in our university’s academic journal, showcasing her ability to contribute meaningful scholarship to the field of literary studies.

    Beyond her academic accomplishments, Sophia has actively contributed to the literary community on and off campus. She serves as the editor-in-chief of our university’s literary magazine, “The Grandview Gazette,” where she has worked tirelessly to spotlight student writers and poets. Her leadership has not only elevated the magazine’s quality but also fostered a supportive community for budding authors.

    Sophia’s commitment to literature extends into her community involvement as well. She has organized and led several reading groups at local high schools, aiming to inspire a love for reading and writing among younger students. Her efforts have significantly increased student engagement in literary activities in the surrounding schools, demonstrating her passion for spreading the joy and importance of literature.

    The Pen & Paper Literary Scholarship aligns perfectly with Sophia’s aspirations and achievements. Her dedication to literary studies and creative writing, combined with her academic excellence and community involvement, make her an ideal candidate for this award. I am confident that with the support of your scholarship, Sophia will continue to excel academically and make significant contributions to the literary world.

    Sophia Rodriguez embodies the qualities that the Pen & Paper Literary Scholarship seeks to nurture: intellectual curiosity, creative excellence, and a commitment to literary community engagement. I wholeheartedly endorse her application and am excited about the potential for her continued growth and success in literary studies.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information or insights into Sophia’s achievements and character. I am eager to provide any assistance that can support her application for this prestigious scholarship.

    Thank you for considering Sophia Rodriguez for the Pen & Paper Literary Scholarship. I am confident that she will honor and exceed the expectations associated with this award.


    Professor Marcus Bennett

    Department of Literature and Languages

    Grandview University


    In both recommendation letters, the professors provide strong endorsements for their respective students’ scholarship applications, highlighting their academic achievements, leadership qualities, and dedication to their fields of study.

    The first letter focuses on a student in Environmental Science, emphasizing their outstanding academic performance, leadership roles in environmental initiatives, and community engagement. The professor highlights the student’s high GPA, research accolades, and their role in leading environmental projects, showcasing their leadership and commitment to sustainability. Additionally, the student’s volunteer work at the local community garden underscores their dedication to making a positive impact beyond academia.

    In contrast, the second letter recommends a student in literature, emphasizing their academic excellence, scholarly contributions, and leadership in literary endeavors. The student’s perfect GPA, publication in the university’s academic journal, and editorship of a literary magazine demonstrate their commitment to literary studies and their ability to elevate the literary community. Moreover, their involvement in organizing reading groups for high school students reflects their passion for spreading literary appreciation beyond the university campus.

    Both letters effectively advocate for the candidates’ suitability for the scholarships they are applying for. They provide specific examples of their achievements and contributions, demonstrating their potential to excel in their respective fields. Additionally, the professors express confidence in the students’ abilities to make significant contributions to their academic disciplines and broader communities.

    Overall, these recommendation letters serve as compelling endorsements of the students’ scholarship applications, showcasing their academic excellence, leadership, and passion for their chosen fields of study.

    How to Write a Scholarship Recommendation Letter?

    This question is always a tricky one for the authors of letters. The simple answer is “yes.”. If you are writing a recommendation for a student and you have nothing nice to say, you probably shouldn’t be the person writing the letter! Only include positive things about your student:

    • Avoid talking about discipline problems, especially. These can keep students from getting a scholarship.
    • Do not divulge private information about the student, unless you need to for the sake of the scholarship. You don’t need to overshare. If your student overcame the challenge of losing a parent, for instance, do your best not to bring this up in your letter unless it is pertinent to the scholarship or you have the permission of the student. The scholarship committee isn’t looking to buy a story: they want to know all of the wonderful things about your student!
    • Struggles of the student: Do not include things that your student struggles with in your letter. These can be seen as negative and can cost a student the scholarship. Make sure that you do not accidentally include things that you might view as opportunities or weaknesses for the student.

    If you avoid using these three non-negotiables and stick to the parameters of the scholarship, you should be on the right track to helping your student earn a scholarship!

    Writing letters of recommendation is never an easy task. As long as you follow the guidelines set in this article, you are well on your way to writing a perfect letter of recommendation.

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      What Do Scholarship Administrators Look for in Your Letter? 

      It is important to note here that every scholarship is different and, thus, has slightly different criteria that they are looking for. Most scholarships tend to look for the same basic things and then move to the specifics.

      Most scholarship officers look for these basic things:

      • Professionalism: Was your letter delivered on time? Is the writing professional? Does it cover the requirements for the scholarship?
      • Who wrote your letter?: Was your letter written by someone who could speak to your specific requirements for the scholarship? Or did you choose someone who doesn’t quite meet the criteria for the committee? A teacher, coach, scout leader, or other adult figure of authority will generally pass this test.
      • Letterhead: What kind of paper was your letter written on? A lot of scholarship committees like the letter to be written on official, professional letterhead. If you ask a teacher, most schools have letterhead that their employees use to write letters of recommendation. If it is a scout leader, ask them if they have letterhead from the organization they work with. While letterhead isn’t required, it does make your letter appear more impressive.
      • Your accomplishments: Did your letter include impressive accomplishments from your time in school? Bragging about yourself is never easy, but, in this case, it is worth it. Make sure to tell the person writing the letter some of your accomplishments. It’s never too early to begin drafting your resume to list these, either!
      • Length: Follow the “Keep It Simple” method with letters of recommendation. It is rare that a letter of recommendation ever goes over a page. And, if it does, do your best to shorten it to one-page length. Scholarship committees have a lot of applicants to get through and you want to make sure they have time to devote to your entire letter.

      Your application has a higher chance of being prioritized by scholarship administrators if it contains these five elements.

      About This Article

      Alexander Ruiz
      Authored by:
      Educational Consulting, Test Prep Tutoring, College Application Consulting
      Alexander Ruiz stands as the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute in Claremont, California, a distinguished establishment offering tailored educational plans, specialized subject and test prep tutoring, and comprehensive college application consulting. With a rich experience spanning over a decade and a half in the education sector, Alexander's approach transcends traditional teaching. He empowers students not just academically, but also fosters self-awareness and emotional intelligence, essential tools for holistic development. Alexander's academic credentials, a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University, further enhance his ability to guide students towards their academic and personal aspirations.

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