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How to write a bursary letter

Updated February 17, 2017

Many private schools, both primary and secondary, have bursar's offices that offer financial aid and scholarships that are not connected to federal financial aid. These scholarships cover the cost of schooling for students who cannot afford the tuition on their own. To apply for a bursary account, the student or her parents must write a bursary letter that explains the financial need and the worthiness of the student to earn this aid.

Format your letter appropriately; the formatting of the letter is the recipient's first introduction to your professionalism. Set your margins to 1 inch and set your line spacing to single-spaced.

Type your address, without your name. Skip a space, and type the full date. Skip another space and type the bursar's name, the school's name, and the bursar's address at the school.

Skip another space and type "Dear (bursar's name):".

Open the first paragraph by explaining that you are applying for a bursary account. Identify yourself, your year and your program of study, if applicable.

Explain your financial circumstances. If the application is need-based, you must provide supporting documentation about the family finances and budget.

Detail your academic achievements if your application is merit-based and describe how the bursary account will help you achieve your goals.

Close the letter by typing "Sincerely,"; skip three line spaces, and type your name. Print the letter and sign above your name.

Ask a friend or instructor to proofread your letter. A professional letter should be free of typographical errors and correct in its grammar and usage.

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About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.