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Perhaps your budget projections for the Fall Semester underestimated the effect of the shorter daylight hours on your alcohol consumption.
Maybe your professors are really passionate about their subject, and expect you to be the same and put in your hours, forgetting that you have to pay exorbitant rates to live in almost-squalor with other young adults devoid of purpose.
Perhaps it’s just the age-old story of you aspiring to do better than the previous generation and having to struggle through it for now.
Ultimately, who gets the scholarship will be decided on a subjective manner. When something requires a 3.8 GPA, the candidates start appearing pretty similar on paper.
Apart from the scholarship cover letter. This is where you can stand out.
In this guide:
- A scholarship cover letter sample that gets top marks, just like you.
- How to format your cover letter for academic posts.
- A fill-in-the-blanks template that will produce your cover letter for scholarship within 15 minutes.
See how this sample does it.
Scholarship Cover Letter Sample
This cover letter for an engineering scholarship comes from Peter, who is involved in the research at his university. He shows exactly how indispensable he is, and that he ought to be supported for his drive and ability.
Let’s see how he does.
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Peter J. Holbrook
3956 Kyle Street
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Scottsbluff, Jan 28, 2021
Professor G. Dawkins
Dean of Engineering
University of Texas at San Antonio
1 UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
Dear Professor Dawkins,
I would like to submit my application for the Dr. Harold G. Longbotham Endowed Scholarship for the Year 2021. After my first year as a biomedical engineering student, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA and made the Dean’s List. I have also taken part in supporting Dr. Kroger’s research into development of 3D-printable, affordable respirator and CPAP mask devices.
Dr. Kroger’s research is entering a critical phase of downsizing and simplifying the project to make it affordably printable on low-cost 3D printers in impoverished countries, and requires thousands of hours for researching existing 3D printer solutions, materials, technologies and combinations. I routinely contribute 30 hours a week in the lab, and often 20+ hours of my own time researching at night. With the exponential spread of the Covid-19 epidemic across the globe and the demonstrated inability of national healthcare systems to deal with its strain, the availability of these devices will be crucial in maintaining standards and capacity of care for the critically ill. As one of four children from a single-parent household in a ‘persistent poverty county’, my situation dictates that I devote some of my time to paid employment in order to pay for my education. Devoting this time to potentially globally-beneficial research, instead of selling meaningless labour at minimum rate, would be a benefit to me, the school, the biomedical community and the world at large.
Therefore, I implore you to consider awarding me the Dr. Harold G. Longbotham Endowed Scholarship for the Year 2020 so that I can continue maintaining a 4.0 GPA and supporting the world-leading research that is taking place in the Biomedical Faculty at the University of Texas, hopefully introducing Dr. Kroger’s solutions as open-source in 2020.
Peter J. Holbrook
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Let’s hit the books.
How to Write a Scholarship Cover Letter
1. Use a Professional Cover Letter Format
Remember, you are the model student. Everything about you is flawless. Most certainly, your cover letter format. You pay attention to every detail, which is why you will be the chosen one.
This is how not to lose points on your cover letter format:
- ‘Align Left’ the text, and don’t use justification.
- Set even margins on all sides, 1-inch at a minimum.
- For your cover letter, use one of best CV fonts—go for the classics. Garamond might even be too wild in the context of a cover letter for a scholarship.
- Use 1.15 line spacing. Leave a line between each section, and between paragraphs.
- Don't make your cover letter longer than one page.
Double-check all the settings at the end. Sometimes, actions like copy and pasting can mess the formatting up.
Let’s see what things to include in your cover letter for scholarships.
2. Address Your Scholarship Cover Letter
If you’re sending a CV along with the cover letter, make sure the CV header and this one match. Don’t omit your address and phone number—colleges still like to be old-fashioned, this isn’t the remote vegan startup you’re going to be applying to in two years.
Below, drop the date and city, and list the contact details of the person dealing with your application. Do not forget, and do not mess up their academic title! Phew! You know they would care. A lot.
You might be sending this letter to a specific office, make sure to check exactly where to post it.
Check against our template:
Cover Letter for Scholarship Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Academic Title ]
[ Physical Address ]
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ Date ]
[ Department / School Head ]
[ Academic / Honorary Titles]
[ Academic Department ]
[ University Name ]
[ Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
3. Identify The Scholarship You’re Applying To and Introduce Yourself
Get to the point. Yes, you are excited to apply. You are elated. It’s free money, who wouldn’t be? In the first paragraph be concise, and show that you match the most basic of the requirements, the GPA. Then follow it up with a reason specific only to you. The projects, clubs, research you’re involved in.
You can just replace the [blanks] with your information:
Scholarship Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [Proper Academic Title] [Surname]:
I would like to submit my application for the [Scholarship Name]. Since commencing study, I have maintained a [X] GPA, fulfilling that requirement. I would greatly benefit from this support, as I have been devoting many hours of my free time to [research/tough family situation/caring for someone/volunteering/other greater good].
4. Make Your Case
All the time spent in front of the books, in the not-at-all-dragging lectures, in the library, crying, stress eating, and engaging in hedonist acts to compensate! Finally about to pay off! Or at least, get paid for. For now. NO! Don’t check the interest on your student loan. Don’t you do it!
Find out as much about the scholarship and the sponsors as possible. What is important to them? What can you impress them with? What other criteria are there? Make sure to display that you know exactly what you’re in for.
If there are economic requirements, make sure to discuss them here.
Sample Scholarship Cover Letter: Middle Paragraph
During the last year of study, I have had to engage in [research/tough family situation/caring for someone/volunteering/other greater good] in order to [an outcome beneficial to someone that isn’t you/beneficial to the whole world perhaps]. This has allowed me to [gain invaluable skills/gain life experience/feel like I’m doing my part] at a time when so many of my generation have been described as selfish. Regardless of this, I have maintained my GPA, and excelled at [something you excelled at], even managing to [be commended by the faculty/receive an award/achieve something]. This cash injection would mean that I can keep contributing to both fully, and [help me reach my goals/keep giving my best back to the community/help my family/help the research community/expand the global body of knowledge].
5. Show Them You Care About More Than the Money
Want to hear a university horror story? Alright, here it is:
A professor runs a class for the whole year. The main reading material was his own textbook. For the whole year, he would set readings from it. Come exam time, during the oral examination he asked only one question: “What colour was the textbook cover?”
What does that serve to demonstrate? That no matter how much we try to look to academics for voices of reason, they also can be egotistical, grandiose, and often ascribe a lot of meaning to these old school institutions and practises.
If you don’t pay the faculty enough respect, you will not pass. If you try to get your nose brown, you will also be swatted away.
Fill in the [blanks]:
Cover Letter for a Scholarship Sample: Third Paragraph
Having received the [Scholarship Name], I would have the ability to focus even more of my time on [benefit to the faculty/research/something important to the faculty/something impressive outside university, like sports] uninterrupted, and bring honour to our institution not only through my grades, but also my conduct and contribution to the community.
6. Sign Off
How to sign off your cover letter? With caution. Usually we advise being bold and asking for an interview. Such bravado may not pass here. Also, you are part of their institution, and will be considered, so just sign off politely.
Sample Cover Letter for a Scholarship: Closing
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
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When writing your scholarship cover letter pay attention to:
- Proper formatting: elegant font, even margins, spacing, a legible header with all the information.
- Explain clearly what you are applying for, and that you fulfil the basic requirements,
- In the second paragraph, reference exactly why you are more deserving of this scholarship than anyone else, by underlining your achievements, but not boasting.
- Pay a little nod towards the faculty in the last paragraph, and explain once again why it would be beneficial to everyone for you to receive this scholarship.
- Sign off formally.
Do you have any more questions about writing a cover letter for scholarships? Did you find our scholarship cover letter sample helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!