The scholarship application process can be tricky to navigate, especially when it comes to the required documentation. One of the most important documents that you need in order to complete your application packet is the cover letter. This document should highlight your academic strengths and accomplishments, as well as express why you are an ideal candidate for this particular scholarship program. Let’s take a look at how to write a cover letter for a scholarship.
Know The Proper Address
First, the cover letter should be addressed to the program administrator/recipient of your scholarship application packet. You will find that most organizations post their contact information on each page of the scholarship application; if not, then you will often find this information within the main scholarship website.
Include A Proper Greeting
Next, be sure to include a greeting. The most common salutations in a cover letter template are “Dear Sir/Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern,” but you can also use a more personalized greeting if you know who is in charge of processing the scholarship applications. If the application instructions request that multiple documents (i.e., letters of recommendation, transcripts) be included with your cover letter, then you should make this request at the beginning of your letter.
The reason for this is that your application will likely be separated into multiple different piles and reviewed by a specific committee member. If you include the request in your cover letter sample and mention which documents you would like to include (i.e., transcript of grades for the past three academic years), then you will lower your likelihood of having your application overlooked.
This is especially true if you are applying for a large-scale scholarship, where there are multiple applicants vying for one award. Finally, do not forget to highlight all relevant details that have led up to this point. If you have not sent in a scholarship application before, then be sure to explain the reason behind your decision and why you think this specific program is right for you.
Mention Your Special Circumstance If Applicable
If you have a special circumstance, such as attending college part-time while working full-time or caring for dependents, then be sure to mention this. While you do not want to turn your application into an autobiography, you can use this document as leverage to express why you are the right candidate for the program. As with any document, your cover letter needs to follow the same formatting rules as any other formal writing. This means that you need to make sure your document is free of typos, grammatical errors, or even misspellings. You should aim for a well-written essay that flows logically and convincingly without feeling forced or stiff.
Use A Style Guide
It may be helpful for you to purchase a style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, in order to help you with the formatting and overall writing process. In terms of length, you should aim for one page or less. If there are any scholarship programs that specifically request that their applications be no more than one page long, then follow these guidelines accordingly.
Make A Different Letter For Every Scholarship Program
If you are applying for multiple scholarships, then make sure to create a separate cover letter for each application. This is the only way that an organization will know whether or not you are applying for more than one scholarship program.
Include Noteworthy Achievements
If you have no prior scholarship experience, but still believe that you deserve consideration because of your impressive academic record and/or community service project/s, then make sure to mention these details as well. If you have been a recipient of other scholarships in the past, then feel free to mention this as well.
This will demonstrate that you have the initiative and dedication necessary to be a successful future scholar after receiving your degree from college. That’s why it’s important to make sure to incorporate all relevant information into your scholarship cover letter so that you can get a better chance of being selected as a finalist for the program.
Proofread The Cover Letter
The overall goal of your cover letter is to get noticed by the right people. So before sending in your scholarship application, be sure to proofread your letter for mistakes and make revisions where necessary. The last thing you want is to be passed over because of careless errors.
Make sure that you are looking over your final draft multiple times to ensure that there are no last-minute errors or omissions. Afterward, feel free to print out the hard copy of your academic resume cover letter and include it with your application packet.
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Keep in mind that the cover letter is an important document within your scholarship application packet because it introduces you to your potential future employers or supervisors. Make sure to follow these steps carefully so that your submission will be reviewed by an organization’s scholarship committee.