How do I Write a Scholarship Cover Letter?

B. Miller
B. Miller
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Woman holding a book

When you apply for a scholarship, in most cases you will need to supply detailed information such as a completed application, transcripts, and an essay. In addition, though, you may also want to include a brief scholarship cover letter to introduce yourself and state why you are applying for the scholarship. It may or may not be required, but this little bit of extra effort can set you apart from other applicants and make it more likely that you will be the chosen recipient. When writing a scholarship cover letter, keep it brief and to the point, and make sure it is neatly typed and free of grammatical errors.

Format a scholarship cover letter like you would an employment cover letter. Your address should be at the top, and underneath it is the date as well as name and address for the scholarship committee, or the person making the decision. Address the cover letter to the person who will be reading it, not "To Whom It May Concern." The body of the letter should probably not be more than one or two brief paragraphs, because the rest of the scholarship application materials will illustrate any other important information.

In the body of the scholarship cover letter, briefly introduce yourself and your educational background, such as what grade you are in, or the level of college education you have completed. You will then need to share any pertinent information about yourself and how it relates to the scholarship, and briefly why you believe you should be chosen. This is largely up to your own discretion, but again, keep it brief. Volunteer work you have done or other awards you have been given might be good things to mention in a cover letter because it illustrates your past successes and ability to do well in an educational setting. If an essay is not included as part of the application, you might choose to make your cover letter a bit longer and share more information about your educational goals and career aspirations.

Conclude a scholarship cover letter with "Sincerely," followed by your full name. You do not need to include any additional contact information aside from a phone number, as long as these details are included on the actual application. If you want, you can specify the number of enclosures, or additional pages included in the submission, by writing "Encl," and then the number in parentheses.

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Discussion Comments


I know this isn't advice that everyone will approve of, but I've found putting a bit of warmth into the cover letter can be helpful. You don't want to sound completely cold and robotic. Of course, you don't want to sound too lighthearted about it either. It's best to try and find a balance between the two.

When it comes down to it, the people reading the letter are human and they have a lot of letters to read. Giving them something genuine to remember you by can't be a bad thing.


@bythewell - I'd rather just write a whole new letter. If you reuse bits from old writing, I think it ends up sounding wrong, like you are using a sample cover letter and just slapping your own name on top of it.

It doesn't take that long to write a cover letter, especially since they usually request that you write your essay, or whatever else they want separately.

Personally, I've always found the greatest struggle was getting referees for the scholarship. Anyone worth asking is always so busy.


My recommendation is that you keep all your scholarship application material handy, so that if you ever need to apply for another one, or something else, you can just reuse them.

The letter, for example, needs to be tailored to whatever you're applying for. But, that doesn't mean you can use the bulk of your previous letter to fill it out. You shouldn't have to rewrite all the stuff about your previous work, for example.

Just make absolutely sure you go over everything so that there's no trace of it being taken from your old letter.

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