Letters of recommendation for high school student scholarship money

Written by morgan rush
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Letters of recommendation for high school student scholarship money
Provide high school teachers with enough information to write your letter of recommendation. (teacher & students image by Luisafer from Fotolia.com)

The price of college education only continues to rise, so high school students frequently turn to the idea of earning scholarships to help defray the cost of tuition, books, student fees and cost-of-living expenses. Unlike student loans, which must be repaid, scholarships are gifts of money that don't require repayment. Completing the scholarship application process involves many steps one of which is the submission of letters of recommendation. Understanding factors involved with gathering the letters can help you successfully receive scholarship money.

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Letters of recommendation serve an important purpose during the scholarship evaluation process. On the most superficial level, it demonstrates that the high school scholarship applicant was organised enough to solicit and submit letters of recommendation while meeting other responsibilities, including school work and family obligations. While high school students may still be struggling to articulate their personal narrative, accomplishments and goals, adults writing letters of recommendation may be able to communicate an applicant's skills from a broader perspective. Scholarship application reviewers are also able to get a sense of the student's range by reading letters from different areas of their life, including high school teachers, employers, volunteer work coordinators or other mentors.


To maximise the effectiveness of scholarship letters of recommendation, students should provide letter writers with enough information to compose a meaningful letter. Make a list of your recent accomplishments during your high school career, including academic, volunteer work, athletic and other extra-curricular activities. Give teachers examples of previously completed, successful assignments from your high school classes to stir their memory. Include a list of colleges for which you're trying to earn scholarship money. And be sure to include information about your family background; individuals writing your letter of recommendation can allude to financial hardship, immigration, overcoming illnesses or your commitment to being an active, loving family member as part of your life experience.


Some scholarship applications ask students to release their right to review letters of recommendation once they're submitted. This may seem a little frightening. You may worry that a teacher wrote something unfavourable, but in fact, you're better off releasing review privileges. Teachers who have negative things to say about your high school performance probably wouldn't have agreed to write your letter in the first place. And they may be much more likely to boast about your accomplishments and personality knowing that they're going to have to look you in the eye tomorrow in first period English.

Thank You

You're not finished with the work seeking student scholarship money once the application is safely in the mail. It's highly important to compose genuine thank-you notes to those individuals who've written your letters of recommendation, and mail or distribute these notes in a timely fashion. If you do win scholarship money, it's gracious to send another note letting your letter writers know the positive outcome of your endeavour.

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