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Good Facts to Include in a Scholarship Reference Letter

by Amy Pearson, Demand Media

    Students seeking a college scholarship often will ask teachers or other mentors to provide a letter of reference to boost their chances. Certain facts and personal character traits should be included in a reference letter to increase the student's chances of being awarded a scholarship. No reference letters will be the same. If you are asked to provide a letter, check the exact details of the scholarship and tailor your writing to those specifications.

    Grades and Academic Achievements

    Scholarship applications often ask for examples of quality academic work. If you have worked with the student in an academic capacity, provide specific examples that showcase outstanding abilities. Find something unique about the student to expand upon, such as a passion for the subject, dedication to hard work or a motivation to learn. Scholarship-granting committees probably will have access to the student's transcripts. Examples of academic accomplishments that are not easily discovered by reading the transcript will make your reference letter stand out.

    Scholarship Specific Facts

    Include examples illustrating how the student meets the requirements of the scholarship. If the scholarship is service oriented, provide examples of community service activities. If a scholarship is for those studying a particular field such as biology, give examples reflecting the student’s passion for biological science. Discuss the college program the student plans to study and include why you think the student is a good fit for the program.

    Your Relationship

    Reference writers should include details about how well they know the student and in what capacity they have worked together. Teachers might include the names of the classes the student was enrolled in. Write only about the relationship you have had with the applicant that pertains to the scholarship in question. Do not stray from your area of expertise.

    Unique Qualities

    Effective scholarship reference letters detail unique qualities about a student that fit the requirements of a scholarship. Be specific and honest. Avoid vague words. Give details of leadership qualities and positive personality traits that describe a student's most special qualities. Refrain from any negativity while writing a reference letter. End the letter with genuine and considerate testimony demonstrating that you believe the student would be a good scholarship recipient.

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    About the Author

    Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.

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