5 Ways To Get The Best Scholarship Letter Of Recommendation
1. Ask The Right Person
Unless otherwise noted in the scholarship application, you should always ask a professor or counselor for a letter of recommendation. Friends, family, or even mentors are usually not the best choices for strong letters of recommendation because they may be biased.
- Professors of your major
- Professors you've known for over a year
- Your counselor
- An academic dean if they know you well
Not So Good Recommenders
- Family (sorry, mom)
- Work supervisors
- Professors who barely know you
- Teacher's assistants
2. Ask Early
If you can help it, ask for the letter of recommendation at least 2 weeks before it is due.
Professors are often busy. Asking for the letter in advance is a show of respect to the recommender's time and also gives them ample opportunity to really think about what they will write.
3. Ask For Multiple Letters
If you are planning to apply for more than one scholarship, ask for multiple copies of the same letter of recommendation (addressed to "To whom it may concern").
That way, you won't have to worry about asking the same person over and over for more letters.
4. Ask With A Note
When you ask for a letter of recommendation, give the recommender a paragraph summary that includes:
- What the letter is for
- What your goals/dreams are
- Why you want to win this scholarship
- When the deadline for the scholarship is
This will give the recommender ammunition to write a killer letter of recommendation.
5. Say Thanks!
Don't forget to write a quick "thank you" note or email to the recommender after they've taken the time to write you a recommendation.
The next time you need a letter, they will remember how grateful you were!