Prospective college students send scholarship letters of request to express interest in particular scholarships. The letter contains information about the applicant's personality and background. The tone should be personal yet professional. Online applications are replacing many traditional scholarship request letters.
The first type of scholarship request letter is a direct application for the award that may not require any further steps. Decisions are based solely on this letter. The second type requests more information before applying, while the final version asks for application materials and other necessary forms. The college or outside organization offering the scholarship will often state what sort of scholarship request letter they want.
The letter should briefly summarize educational and personal achievements. List school or schools attended, grades earned and subjects studied, particularly if applying for a scholarship targeting a specific academic discipline. For instance, if seeking a scholarship for engineering students only, explain any math or science achievements. Include extracurricular activities or community service, leadership roles and awards won. If possible, make sure they are related to the scholarship for which you are applying.
The purpose of the scholarship request letter is to receive money or other remuneration to pursue academic interests. If writing to a college, explain how the scholarship will make attending classes there possible. Mention applicable financial hardships or extenuating circumstances that make the scholarship necessary in order to continue your education. Be honest about financial needs and if you are receiving other grant or scholarship money. Present yourself as a serious student.
Correctly spell the name of the institution offering the scholarship and the name of any contact or applications officer receiving your letter. Double-check your facts and spell check your final draft before submitting it. Thank the organization in advance for their consideration and inform them you will send any additional information if requested. Most colleges and organizations expect scholarship requests to come from the student, but a few may require letters from parents or guardians. Comply with their guidelines and meet all deadlines as far in advance as you can.
While most scholarship letters request money to pay for college, private organizations may seek them for funds to study or travel abroad, receive paid internships or participate in religious or charitable work. Money is not usually sent to the applicant but directly to the college or organization.
Over the course of a 15-year career, John Briggs has written for print and online clients. As a syndicated TV critic, his work appeared in some of the country's top dailies. He has a degree in political science from Temple University and took additional writing classes at NYU.