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How to Write a Scholarship Application Cover Letter

How to Write a Scholarship Application Cover Letter main image

Guest post: Isabel Ara López

When deciding who to grant a scholarship to, scholarship evaluation boards have a lot of information to take into consideration. In some cases, the decision will be based on academic excellence (high grades, language skills, good overall academic skills and record) or on economic factors (low income, family difficulties).

In many cases, you are required to attach a scholarship application cover letter, in which you should explain why you are applying for this specific scholarship and how it could help you achieve your education and career objectives. This is one of the best tools you can use to make your scholarship application a success, together with the correct submission of any other required documents. Here are some tips on how to write a compelling scholarship application cover letter.

1. Explain why you’re a good match for the scholarship

The scholarship application cover letter is an opportunity to outline your main strengths from an educational and professional perspective, your plans for future career growth, why you would be suitable for this scholarship, and how you would benefit if selected. Make sure you cover all of these points, using specific examples where possible.

2. Establish a formal tone, use a clear structure and check spellings

The cover letter should be written in a formal tone, and have a clear, concise, structured flow. Each applicant should also make sure to check for and correct any accidental spelling or grammar mistakes. To make sure you submit a successful cover letter, ask another person, with an objective eye, to read it before sending. This will minimize the risk of any spelling or grammatical errors, and can also help you eliminate any information that is unclear, redundant or irrelevant to what you are asking for.

3. Match your cover letter to the context

There are various situations of scholarship applications in which you would be requested to attach a cover letter. You may, at the same time, be applying for admission to an institution or a program. Or you may be requesting a grant or scholarship to cover tuition fees or other costs for a program you have already been admitted to.

If your letter is intended for the initial case, you should start with a formal address and greeting, followed by a short paragraph presenting your academic skills, achievements and strengths. The following paragraph should explain the reasons you would need a scholarship to fund your studies. The third paragraph should talk about how the specific program, course or project you are applying for will help you achieve your objectives, and how you can contribute during your studies. Do not forget to close with a formal, polite farewell.

If the letter is requesting funding for a program you have already been accepted to, there are a few aspects you should consider. The introduction should be similar to the structure above, emphasizing your academic skills. In the second paragraph you should emphasize your financial condition, and the reasons why you need the funding. In a third paragraph you can explain your interest in studying at that specific institution and how much you will be able to benefit from it.

In such cases, the institution may actually provide you with guidelines for the information to be included in the scholarship application cover letter, such as income data, career background etc.

To conclude the scholarship application cover letter is meant to highlight your strengths, academic skills and goals, and you should ensure you fully communicate all of these in order to ensure your success.

Get more tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay here.

You can browse our various scholarship listings here, and QS also offers its own scholarships

Isabel Ara López is a Spanish journalist, graduate of the University of Navarra in 2002, and currently working with the team at , a website dedicated to providing information about scholarships for bachelor’s, master’s and MBA programs. The portal also provides information on how to apply for scholarships, how to improve your studies,and how to prepare for job interviews after graduation.

 

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2 Comments

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