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The Magic Formula for Choosing a Letter of Recommendation Writer for Scholarships
Choosing a letter of recommendation writer is a key aspect of scholarship applications and should not be taken lightly.
The letter of recommendation is an extremely important part of scholarship applications. Besides the essay, it is a chance for the scholarship judge to learn personal details about the student.
What most students don’t realize is that choosing who would be the best option for writing the letter should depend on the type of scholarship that they are applying for.
For example, a scholarship that rewards students for volunteering (like this one) would be a perfect place to include a letter of recommendation from a director of an organization where a student has spent hours volunteering. This person should be one who has worked closely with the student and can share details of his or her work ethic, contributions, and experiences.
When deciding who should write a letter of recommendation, students need to first identify the type of scholarship they are applying for.
Here are a few suggestions:
|Type of Scholarship||Letter of Recommendation Writer|
|Engineering||Higher Level Math Teacher/Robotics Mentor|
|Community Service||Volunteer Coordinator|
|Talent Based||Music Instructor, Photography Specialist, etc.|
Thinking outside of the box when it comes to who should write a scholarship letter of recommendation is just plain SMART.
Remember, a student should only ask the people whom they admire and have worked closely with over time. (In other words, don’t ask a local politician to write a letter of recommendation if he or she has never met you.)
Once students have chosen who they would like to write their letters, the next step is to ask for digital copies of each letter.
This is very important for scholarship submissions, especially ones that are submitted during school breaks.
If a teacher is bound by school rules and cannot release the letters to the students, that is when the list of other writers found below becomes so valuable. (They can also ask for sealed letters from teachers to include in physically mailed scholarship application packets.)
Go over this list carefully with your student:
Possible Letter of Recommendation Writers
- High School Principals
- High School Vice Principals
- High School Counselors
- Youth Group Leaders
- Robotics Mentors
- Athletic Coaches
- Music Instructors
- Test Prep Tutors
- Academic Tutors
- Volunteer Directors and Staff
- Club Coaches
- Scout Leaders
- 4-H Leaders
- Internship Directors
This list is valuable for deciding WHO to ask to write a letter of recommendation for scholarships, now head over to this post to learn how to help the writer create the best and most detailed letter possible.
You may also like to read: How to Get a Great Scholarship Letter of Recommendation
What are parents and students saying about the How to Win College Scholarships ebooks?
Do you have another suggestion for choosing a scholarship letter of recommendation writer? Please share it in the comments section below. ~ Monica Matthews
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets and more, have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.
I never thought of that before. I’ll definitely be sharing this tip!
A little extra thought on who to ask to write a letter of recommendation goes a long way. Great tips!
Thanks so much, Ellen!
This is a great post for students and for those of us who are often asked to write the letters!
Thanks so much, Lee!
I bet this is a detail many people don’t consider, I know I didn’t! Thanks!!
This is my second go at a comment–it got rejected first time.
Yikes! Sorry about that, Carol!
This is SO important!!! Students who don’t think carefully about this, do so at their peril. I remember in my former life as a (post-secondary) teacher, a first-year student who was routinely late on assignments and hostile toward my class in general showed up two months into the term, to ask me to write her a recommendation letter for a transfer application to another school. I tried hard to convince her that her performance in and attitude toward my class suggested that I should be her LAST choice, but she insisted (during this meeting only) that she actually loved my class and it was her favorite. I wrote her a professional, tactful, but honest letter. Her transfer application was rejected.
Wow, what a story, Flossie. For my Savor Summer Scholarship this year, I actually had a letter of recommendation for a student in which the teacher said NOT to award him my scholarship money. Why the student included that letter in the application packet, I have no idea. 🙁