Recommendation Letter for Scholarship [Free Templates]

According to Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Columbia University, scholarship reference or recommendation letters are important to the admission process and to a student getting a scholarship.

A scholarship recommendation letter, also known as a scholarship reference letter, contains information concerning a particular student’s achievements, character traits, and qualities that match the criteria of a chosen scholarship.

The recommender, in this case, must be an adult that is familiar with the student, like a teacher, professor, or even a counselor.

The recommender should always be aware of the scholarship requirements before writing the character reference letter. A good character reference letter must fulfill these requirements specifically; they should match the terms of reference of the award.

As the recommender, being aware of the guidelines of the scholarship will make it easier to write a proper recommendation letter to help the student to qualify for the scholarship

Free Templates

A recommendation letter for a scholarship is a crucial document that showcases your qualifications, accomplishments, and character traits to support your application for financial aid. Crafting an impactful recommendation letter can be a challenging task, but with the convenience of pre-built templates, this process becomes significantly easier and more efficient. By utilizing these free downloadable templates in Word format, you can save valuable time and effort, ensuring that their letter is well-structured, comprehensive, and tailored to the specific requirements of a scholarship application.

Sample of Scholarship Reference Letter

Students Scholarship Reference Letter

Scholarship Reference Letter Example

Professor Scholarship Reference Letter

Sample of Academic Scholarship Reference Letter







      Benefits of Scholarship Recommendation Letter

      There are benefits of including a recommendation letter in scholarship applications. A scholarship recommendation letter will help to accomplish various things when included in a student’s scholarship application. The purpose of a recommendation letter for a scholarship is as follows.

      Acts as a strong endorsement for a student.

      This letter acts as a reinforcing tool for the student by showing that the recommender approves of the student getting the scholarship.

      Also, the letter addresses the student’s future intentions in a confident manner which proves how “worthy” they are for the scholarship. A scholarship recommendation letter helps to bring a student’s résumé to life and shows that he or she is so focused that there are people willing to help them achieve their dream by helping them to qualify for the scholarship.

      Serves as evidence of a student’s commitment and goals

      A student might be aiming to study engineering, literary studies or medicine. They might also be looking for a way to further their athletic prowess. Therefore, this letter will act as evidence of a student’s commitment and goals; hence, increasing their chance of getting the scholarship to achieve either their academic or athletic commitment.

      Attests to student’s eligibility for the scholarship

      Since such letters are customized to fit the award of a specific scholarship, it helps to corroborate on why the student deserves the scholarship. The letter highlights the merits or the needs that the students may have that makes them qualified for the scholarship.

      For instance, if a student is looking for a scholarship based on their financial needs; then, a scholarship recommendation letter can indicate how the student can still work well and achieve their dreams even with limited resources.

      Prewriting Consideration

      There are tips and considerations that a recommender should keep in mind before agreeing to write a recommendation letter for scholarship. Here are some of the prewriting considerations:

      Either ready or not

      As a recommender, one must consider their ability to construct a powerful letter for the student. This can only be achieved if he or she knows the student well. If this is not the case, failure to write the letter genuinely might hurt the student and even cost them the scholarship. The letter might come off as uninformed, not confident and not enthusiastic.

      Have the complete information

      The recommender should find out these details from the student. The scholarship could be looking to award those students who can overcome challenges, those who have great academics, those with excellent athletic merits or students in particular field of study. The student can provide this information in an interview or alongside their résumé.

      The recommender will also be able to know more about the student’s experiences for a better-crafted letter. With this information, the recommender can write a powerful recommendation letter that follows the terms of reference of the award.

      Check the guidelines

      With these scholarship guidelines in mind, the recommender can correctly validate the student for the scholarship by providing the correct examples.

      For instance, if the scholarship awards student with technology knowledge, the recommender can write about the student’s innovation in technology.

      Have the story to be told in mind

      A powerful recommendation letter for a scholarship is one that tells a story about the candidate. The narration of the student’s strengths and other important experiences will help them stand a chance at getting the scholarship. The things, challenges, and obstacles that have shaped the student

      Writing a Scholarship Recommendation Letter

      A recommendation letter for scholarship should be about one page long. Here is how to write a scholarship recommendation letter:


      The letterhead is written at the top-left corner of the page. It should contain the following details: date (when the writing happened), the recommender’s full name, the recommender’s title, the school name, street address and information on the city, state & zip code.

      Body paragraphs

      A recommender must have two to three body paragraphs that highlight the student’s abilities and vouches for their eligibility when it comes to the scholarship.


      The introduction paragraph should be brief and precise. It should be about two to three sentences long. It should introduce the applicant, state the chosen scholarship that they are applying for and describe the nature of the relationship between the recommender and the student.

      For example:

      To Whom It May Concern or Dear Admissions Committee:

      I am writing this recommendation letter to recommend {Applicant’s Name} for the {Name of the Scholarship Program}. As his professor (nature of the relationship), I have worked closely with {Name of Applicant} for about 6 years (length of the relationship). I believe that he is a remarkable and promising student who I can comfortably recommend for this scholarship for him to pursue his dream to study medicine.

      Experience with student

      This body paragraph is the most important in the letter. The committee dealing with awarding scholarships will be interested in knowing how the student works with others. That means that this kind of information is essential and should be added to the letter. The recommender can highlight some meaningful events that happened concerning the student.

      The experience the recommender has with the student helps the committee to understand them better.

      For example:

      I believe that (Name of Applicant) deserves the scholarship program since she is a dedicated leader who is very passionate about bringing change to the community. Last year, she planned and hosted a Talent Show to help raise money for students who have cancer.

      Student’s potential

      As the recommender, there is need to mention and describe the potential of the student so as to help them achieve the scholarship. The recommender should list the student’s potential in terms of their academic performance and strengths.

      A recommender can highlight these potentials in a way that shows how the student still succeeds even when dealing with challenges.  Information about student’s potential will make the committee see that the recommender actually believes in the student.

      For example:

      In her senior year, (Name of Applicant) produced an amazing thesis paper in Biology that helped her to get an excellent score. In overall, she has always maintained an A average grade which distinguished her from her fellow students. She is always committed and willing to learn and this makes her an exemplary student.


      For the conclusion part of the recommendation letter, the recommender should highlight the student’s qualities once more and endorse them for the scholarship in an enthusiastic manner. It should show the confidence they have in the candidate and their hope that the student will receive the scholarship.

      The conclusion is written in about two to four sentences.

      For example:

      {Name of Candidate} is an ideal candidate for the {Name of Scholarship Program}. He is diligent and disciplined and he deserves the chance to pursue medicine and this dream will be realized if you accept home into your scholarship program.

      Provide contact information

      After the conclusion paragraph, the recommender should leave an invitation for the recipient of the letter to reach them out in case of any required information. Therefore, they should leave their contact information including their phone number or email address.

      The recommender can choose to include only one of the two.

      For example:

      In case of any queries or more information, please do not hesitate to reach me on (phone number) or (email address).

      End properly

      As the recommender, there is a need to end the letter properly. It is an official letter, so, here are some examples of the best letter closings: sincerely, yours truly, best regards and regards. The recommender should also include their signature and their name. They can also add their title after their name

      For example:

      (Name of Recommender)

      Dos and Don’ts of a Recommendation Letter

      When writing a scholarship recommendation letter, there are aspects that should not be included in the letter.

      Don’t include unenthusiastic praise

      The recommender should use enthusiastic praises when writing the character reference letter. He or she should avoid using lukewarm and unenthusiastic praises by writing the letter using powerful and intentional words. They should put in mind that using clichés is also not wise when writing such a letter.

      The use of vague language and common adjectives like hardworking, good etc. do not add any impact in the letter. Basic and mediocre adjectives should also be avoided when writing this letter to help the student.

      For instance:

      If the recommender needs to address the academic merits of the student in question, then:

      • She is an above-average student.
      • She is an exceptional and exemplary student.

      The recommender should avoid going into too many details about the student. Details about the club they were in at school or every single grade they achieved make the praises about the student unenthusiastic. The praises should be written in a manner that shows how much the student deserves the scholarship.

      Add descriptive reasons

      When it comes to providing reasons as to why the student deserves the scholarship, listing the student’s qualities is not enough. The recommender should give descriptive reasons alongside listing the qualities. Adding a powerful story about the student will also go a long way in helping the student  to secure the scholarship.

      A letter will become more memorable if the recommender uses descriptive adjectives or abstract words with examples.

      For instance:

      • Priscilla is a caring and compassionate student.
      • Priscilla is a caring and compassionate student since she voluntarily started a mental health awareness program at the school to help those affected by the issue.

      Avoid Generic sentences

      As the recommender, one might be tempted to use one character reference letter across the different universities or colleges that a student might be applying for the scholarship. However, this would not be appropriate or helpful for the student. A proper reference should be written according to the stipulations of the scholarship. This way, the customized letter increases the chances of the student getting the scholarship.

      For instance:

      • He is good and hardworking.
      • He is an insightful and diligent student.

      Who Should Write a Scholarship recommendation Letter

      Recommendation letters should come from non-academic individuals or your professors who can write about the contributions you are making to the society outside of the classroom. Your professors will be able to comment on your future goals, academic contributions, and research experience that they supervised. For students applying for scholarships to programs that cover graduate school funding, the professors can speak to their preparedness and suitability for the selected programs. It is usually advised that you select the professors who know you the best, particularly those whom you have engaged with severally.

      Note That: Recommendation letters should not be from family members or your close friends.

      If you decide to choose a non-academic individual to write you the letter, make sure that you select someone who is directly related to the contributions you have made outside of the classroom. For instance, if you have been volunteering to a non-profit organization, it would be best to ask the director/supervisor of the organization to write you the recommendation letter provided that they can make first-hand comments concerning your contributions. Other non-academic individuals who are usually accepted to write recommendation letters include religious leaders, athletic coaches, etc.

      Sample Scholarship recommendation Letter

      Here is a sample recommendation letter that you can use as a guide toward writing a scholarship recommendation letter.


      (Your full name)




      (Full name)



      (Date on which the letter is written)

      Subject: Recommendation letter for scholarship

      Dear :

      Sir or Dear Scholarship Committee,

      I am writing to introduce and recommend (applicant/student name) for the (scholarship name). Currently, I am his/her Counsellor/Teacher at (student’s institution name) and have had the opportunity to work closely with him/her on various programs and activities both curricular and extracurricular. From the very first day I met him/her, (student’s name) impressed me with his/her aptitude to learn, grasp and articulate different concepts in and out of the classroom. (Student’s name) ability to conceptualize academic assignments and bring innovation to problem-solving has endeared him/her to me as I now see him/her as a rising light in the field of literary appreciation and criticism which happens to be his/her key area of interest.

      It is my candid opinion that based on (student’s name) sterling qualities, he/she is the right candidate for your scholarship which normally should go to the student that possesses the highest academic and leadership potentials among the applicants. I reiterate with all sense of responsibility that (student’s name) is an embodiment of all these qualities. I would also like to bring to your knowledge that my student was the valedictory speaker at this year’s end-of-academic year event. Not only was he/she the class choice for speaker, but he/she was instrumental in organizing the event. (Student’s name) also has an excellent academic record which is a testimony of his/her diligence in school work.

      Finally, permit me to state here that (student’s name) is a mature, intelligent, and goal-oriented young lad who, in my professional estimation, will be a valued addition to your community. I support (student’s name) for this scholarship without any reservations. 

      Be rest assured of my highest regards.


      Yours truly

      (Name and signature)


      A scholarship reference or recommendation letter is used to paint a positive picture about a candidate who is applying for a scholarship. Many people are always applying for scholarships and having a recommendation letter for a scholarship can help increase one’s chances at getting it.

      The recommender should have all the details needed, that is, the student’s information and what the scholarship is all about for them to write a powerful recommendation letter.

      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.

      Was this helpful?

      Great! Tell us more about your experience

      Not Up to Par? Help Us Fix It!

      Keep Reading

      Thank You for Your Feedback!

      Your Voice, Our Progress. Your feedback matters a lot to us.