10 tips to writing a scholarship application letter

Tips to writing scholarship application letter

When you want to go to an higher institution of learning, the chances are that you’re going to need to apply for a scholarship. Rather than seeing this as yet another hurdle that you need to jump over, this article wants to show you how you can create a winning application every single time.

All you need to do is work your way through these 10 tips, and you’ll be well on your way to securing the scholarship that will make all the difference to your studies.

1 Explain to the reader why you’re the best choice for the scholarship

Competition for scholarships is fierce, so you’re going to need to sell yourself. Some people find this difficult and don’t do themselves justice, whilst others find it all too easy and end up overdoing it. Here are 3 ways you can really make yourself standout, for all the right reasons:

  • Talk about how you’ve wanted to study at the institution for a long time, and what made you want to go there
  • Show your passion for the process by talking about what it would mean to you to be accepted
  • Avoid being overly familiar by sticking with formal language throughout

2 Let your passion for the subject shine through

The next thing you need to do is communicate your passion for your chosen subject. It’s not enough to say that you want to study somewhere because you know it to be prestigious. People want to know that you have a genuine interest in what you’re doing and that you’re doing it for more reasons than simply having something eye-catching on your CV.

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Talk openly about what interests you in the subject of your choice, and what you hope to be able to get the chance to learn more about if you’re accepted.

3 Highlight any relevant experience or extracurricular activities you’re engaged in

Experience and activities are two things that will certainly help you stand out from the crowd. If you want to be able to write a winning application letter, then you need to show that you aren’t just applying on a whim, or at the last minute.

Talk about the things you have done to prepare for college, what activities have made you want to pursue higher education, and what you have learned along the way. This will help paint the picture of someone with a real drive to succeed, and a hunger to learn.

4 Talk about what you hope to achieve if you’re accepted

Your achievements are what will set you up for your next stage in life as you head out into the world of work. If you have a grand plan for where you want to go, then make sure to spend a couple of sentences on it. The secret is to avoid giving a complete biography of yourself, and instead to focus on how pursuing higher education will enable you to achieve a specific goal.

5 Use a formal tone, and make your language concise and precise

Ask the best academic writing service what matters most to the way a letter reads, and they’ll tell you that you must ensure the tone is formal and consistent throughout. Remember who you’re addressing at all times, and develop a style that is informative and engaging, but avoids being overly familiar or too casual.
Here’re 3 ways you can do exactly that:

  • Avoid using slang words and colloquialisms at all times — this is highly unprofessional
  • Avoid repetition and duplicate content — get straight to the point
  • Avoid circular arguments and tautologies that add nothing to what you’re trying to say
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6 Present a clear structure with a beginning, middle, and an end

Your letter is a reflection of you and is a window into your mind that the reader will use to assess the way you think. If everything is muddled and out of place, then it’s clear that your thinking is going off on a tangent every few minutes.

If on the other hand, the way you write has a clear structure that guides the reader through your arguments, then it’s a strong indicator that you’re a logical thinker. This is exactly what assessors are looking for as they go in search of the best and brightest.

7 Get someone else to check your letter for spelling and grammar

There is a no bigger mistake to make than poor spelling and grammar. At best, it will make it look like you’ve rushed your letter and not given it the due care and attention it deserves. At worst it will tell the assessor that you don’t have the skills they’re looking for, and that you haven’t taken the application process seriously.

It can be hard to critique your own work, which is why it’s often a better idea to get someone else to do it for you. The key is not to take their criticisms personally, but to take them on board and then make the necessary changes. It’s all about creating a letter that will get you the scholarship at the end of the day.

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8 Work your way through multiple drafts, and take a break in between

Drafting is something that people often overlook, and that’s understandable given how much extra work it can entail. What you need to remember, however, is that it’s not just a necessary part of the writing process; it’s essential.

Get your thoughts down on paper, leave them to gestate for a day or so, and then come back. You’re bound to spot all manner of different ways you can improve things.

9 Write a cover letter so it shows you’re not submitting something generic

Cover letters are a great idea, which is why a lot of colleges and scholarship funds will request them. The great thing about them from the reader’s point of view is that they ensure the candidate creates original content.

Use it as an additional forum in which to sell yourself, and it could make all the difference to whether you’re accepted or not.

10 Sign off in a formal and professional way

The sign off is key because it’s the last thing the assessor will read. Take the time to choose something that’s both in keeping with the style of your letter, and that is appropriate to the context.

Did I miss anything out? Let’s know in the comment box below.


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