How to Write a Scholarship Application Cover Letter (Examples & Tips)

A compelling cover letter can be the difference between having a good easy tuition-friendly life and a not so much tuition friendly life.

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A good cover letter can impress scholarship committees and go a long way towards convincing them that you are worth the award.

While cover letters are mostly used for job applications, they are also usually requested as part of scholarship applications. Scholarship committees or organizations want to see that you are devoted to your studies and are serious about getting the most out of your university education.

How to Write a Scholarship Application Cover Letter

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A great scholarship cover letter is the perfect opportunity to describe your passion and show them that you are worthy of their financial support.

In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can write a great cover letter for a scholarship with our helpful tips and examples!

What Is a Scholarship Application Cover Letter?

A scholarship cover letter is a significant, strategic, and highly helpful document that gives applicants the opportunity to express themselves as well as deliver details about their abilities and goals.

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The cover letter is important to show the committee how the scholarship fits perfectly with your personal goals and why this is an excellent opportunity for you. Basically, you want to sell yourself in your letter.

Why write a scholarship cover letter?

Scholarship committees get lots of candidates with great grades, high SAT scores, and abundant extracurricular activities.

Scholarships, grants, and research grants provide incredible opportunities and freedom from debt.

But to win a scholarship you have to prove yourself to the committee through a convincing scholarship cover letter.

Writing a scholarship cover letter gives you an opportunity to show your devotion, goals, and passion to the committee granting the scholarship, thereby improving your chance of convincing them that you are the best candidate to receive their aid.

Tips On Writing a Scholarship Application Cover Letter

Tip 1. Be a storyteller.

To set your scholarship application apart you need to tell a fascinating story that convinces the committee that you are the most deserving of their aid. “Be a J.K. Rowling” if possible.

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Use your cover letter to explain some of your challenges in life, motivations, or accomplishments.

Tip 2. Be concise

Even though scholarship committees want insight into your life and motivations, that doesn’t mean they want your whole life story. Your scholarship application cover letter should be focused, on the main point, and cover all the information that needs to be included in a cover letter.

Here are the main pieces of information that you need to include in your scholarship cover letter. If you are not providing scholarship committees with this information, your cover letter is probably not focused or good enough:

  • Give the scholarship committee a summary of who you are.
  • Demonstrate your qualifications and why you deserve the scholarship.
  • Show your interest and passion for the scholarship.
  • State how you plan to use the scholarship.
  • Structure your scholarship cover letter.

Tip 3. Let your cover letter follow the basic structure.

It can be a little difficult to know how to sell yourself to a committee you have never met. If you are having trouble figuring out where to start from or how to write your cover letter, it can be helpful to make an outline for yourself first.

Knowing how to format your cover letter is the first step. A scholarship application cover letter’s basic structure can be broken down into five main components:

  1. Personal information.
  2. Salutation and opening paragraph.
  3. Body paragraph(s).
  4. Closing paragraph (call to action).
  5. Sign-off.

You can also make the process easier for yourself with a professional cover letter template.

Once you’ve written the personal information and salutation locked in, turn your attention to the most important part: writing tailored paragraphs. Like every piece of writing, your scholarship letter should have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

The structure below summaries the purpose for each paragraph, and what it should include:

Your Name
[Your mailing address]  
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

[Date]

[Scholarship organization name]
[Organization address]
[Organization phone number]  

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx. Recipient’s name] / [Scholarship Committee],  

Start by introducing who you are, and your related experience, how you knew about the scholarship, and why you are interested in applying. If you are writing multiple cover letters, take care to personalize this paragraph according to the scholarship committee.  

Next come your body paragraphs, which showcase your academic accomplishments as well as any related skills and experience. Depending on the scholarship application requirements, you may need to add one more body paragraph or several (always check the length requirement first). You should be addressing what makes you deserve this particular scholarship in this section, so make sure that everything you include strengthens your case.  

If you have an impressive accomplishment(s) you would like to include, you can draw the scholarship committee’s attention to it by formatting it as a bullet point.  

End with a closing paragraph, restating your interest in the scholarship and why you should be a recipient. Don’t forget to include a call to action to encourage the committee to reach out to you. You could say by “you would love the opportunity to schedule a call or a meeting.”
 [Sincerely / Best / Best regards],  
[Your name]  

Tip 4. Personalize your scholarship cover letters

When writing cover letters or even any letter for that matter, it is the little personalization that makes all the difference.

Once you’ve read a pile of cover letters, as the scholarship committee has, it becomes kind of easy to judge which ones are generic cover letters and which ones have been personalized to an individual scholarship.

The easiest way to personalize your cover letters is to use the introductory paragraph to include information specific to that particular scholarship. You should also personalize your body paragraphs too.

Tip 5. Understand the requirements

The basis for granting scholarships differs extensively. Some scholarship committees look at academic performance such as good GPA and SAT, while others look at financial need or other special circumstances, like disability.

Before writing your cover letter, make sure you carefully consider what the scholarship committee is looking for and make this the central point of your letter.

Additional Tips

  • Your letter must show that you are confident enough to get the scholarship.
  • Use words that show your enthusiasm and also, don’t forget to show your gratitude to the scholarship providers. You can even include a short sentence that compliments the committee on what they do.
  • When writing your scholarship cover letter, do not overlook instructions and deadlines. Always pay close attention to them
  • Proofread your work as much as possible before sending it. Have a lot of eyes go through your cover letter to help make it the best it can be.

Examples of Scholarship Application Cover Letter

Here are some examples of a strong scholarships cover letter that you can use to inspire your own scholarship cover letter:

Adenike Ogubande
4215 Duval St
Austin, TX, 78751
(512) 522-6167
[email protected]  

12/12/2021    

Adrian Clark
ULN Coordinator
2304 Whitis Ave
Austin, TX, 78712  

Dear Mr. Clark,

Having been accepted to UT Austin for the 2019 fall term to pursue a Bachelor’s in Computer science, I am writing to express my desire to participate in the University Leadership Scholarship Program. For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong passion for computers, I started coding at the early age of 10, and since then I have loved everything Tech and Digital. I’m particularly excited by the opportunity to join a network of leaders who help to maintain UT Austin’s reputation as a world-leading public research university.  

My parents came to Texas as immigrants and have worked tirelessly in low-paid jobs to provide for our family. If I am accepted to the program, I would be the first member of my family to benefit from a college education. My goal is to use my education to give back to the community. I want to specialize in creating software and apps that will help humanity, especially in the medical field. My passion for this field was inspired by my winning a Hackathon and a sponsored Google coding competition in the same year, and I am all too aware of the impact of challenges that might arise in the field of computer science, which I plan to bring a solution to.  

Servant leadership is the philosophy I intend to follow as a program participant and alumni. I want society to benefit from my education and UT Austin to gain prestige as an institution providing innovation for the greater good. This scholarship would enable me to achieve these aims. In fact, my high school principal is an alumnus of the program. She has been a huge inspiration to me and many others, and I hope to follow her example should I be accepted.  

Please get in touch to arrange a meeting with me. I’d love to tell you more about my upbringing and my desire to give back to my community through my further education.  

P.S. I would also love to discuss how my experience in volunteer mentoring and academic coaching of younger students could contribute to the program’s leadership aims.  

Best Regards, Adenike Ogunbade
Fred Achebe
Student, Department of Computer Science
Concordia University College of Alberta
Edmonton, AB D9E 3E3  

April 30, 2022  

Ms. Sara Smith
Dean Student Affairs Department
Concordia University College of Alberta
Edmonton, AB D9E 3E3  

RE: Scholarship Application  

Dear Ms. Smith:  

I am writing to submit my scholarship application for Concordia University College of Alberta’s Financial Aid Program for fall 2022.  Presently, I am a first-year student of the Master of Computer Science program. To prove my diligence, I have enclosed copies of my academic accomplishments.  

These days, I am facing some financial difficulties; therefore, I am unable to pay my fee for the fall semester. I am planning to obtain a part-time job to manage the finances of my studies, but it will not be enough to cover the full tuition and accommodation fee. Based on my deprived financial condition, I request a student scholarship so that I would be able to continue my studies in anticipation of an improved financial situation.    

If you have any questions regarding my application, please feel free to contact me anytime at (000) 999-0149. To follow up, I will contact your secretary next week.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.  

Sincerely,  

Fred Achebe  
Student ID: 69887  

Ohaeri Chioma,
123, West 67 Street,
Carlisle, MA 01321,
(123)-456 7890.  

1st December 2021.  

Mr. John Smith,
CS Department,
257, Park Avenue South,
New York, NY 12345-6789.
 
Dear Mr. Smith:  

My name is Ohaeri Chioma, and I am a citizen of Nigeria currently enrolled at MS University in the city. I am sending you my completed application form for the undergraduate (graduate) degree program in the field.  

I have taken the TOEFL on 20th December 2020 and SAT (GRE, GMAT) on 12 March 2021. Official score reports for these tests will be sent to your university.  

As you know, the currency in Nigeria is nonconvertible. Therefore, I am not in a position to pay the required application fee. I would ask that your department and the office of undergraduate (graduate) admissions give full consideration to my application without this fee.  

I have noted on the application form that I am applying for full financial support from the university to cover tuition and living expenses. Due to my financial situation, I am totally reliant on the generosity of the university to support my studies. I would ask you to consider me for any scholarships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships, or other awards for which I am eligible.  

At all times, I will try to stay in touch with your phone, fax, or e-mail to monitor the progress of my application.  

Thank you very much for your attention to all these matters and for your consideration of my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

Sincerely,  

[Signature]  

Ohaeri Chioma

Final note

To summarize this article:

  • Use the right format. It makes your letter more legible and sets you up as an A+ candidate.
  • Start by showing an understanding of the Scholarship committee’s ethics, mission, and passion. Prove your relevance to the committee.
  • Establish your worth in the middle of your cover letter. Show off your personal attributes, accomplishments, and end goals. Make sure it is relevant to the Scholarship program.
  • Finish with a Call To Action (CTA). Ask the question and offer something in return.
  • Get your application nice and ready and get that interview.
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