How to write a cover letter for a scholarship?

What Is a Cover Letter? 

It’s simply a letter you write to the scholarship committee. In the letter, you should explain what makes you a great candidate for the award. You should also talk about how the scholarship will help you reach your educational and career goals. 

The scholarship committee wants to invest their resources in the most fitting applicants, so, make them see the reasons why they should invest in you.

Why a Cover Letter? 

There are always minimum requirements applicants must satisfy. The requirements can include but not limited to academic records, language test scores, age, a list of extracurricular activities, etc. However, many scholarship committees look for something else.  They look at students who have overcome struggles, students who are leaders in their community, and students who have unique hobbies or achievements. Your cover letter is the place to highlight your uniqueness.

Note that not every scholarship application requires applicants to submit a cover letter, but when they ask, it’s a great idea to submit a great one. Use the opportunity to think about how you can make yourself stand out from other applicants. 

What Should Your Cover Letter Accomplish? 

Your cover letter should do the following: 

  1. Highlight your strengths: Why do your strengths make you a good match for the scholarship? 
  2. Express what your plans are for the future: How will this particular scholarship help get you there? 
  3. Convey a clear structure: Your cover letter should flow in a clear and concise manner.

How Should You Organize Your Cover Letter?

The letter should be around 1-2 pages and it is not recommended to go over that. Make the font 12 or 14 and use double spacing to make it easy to read.  A typical cover letter consists of the following:

  1. The header

The header is organized as the following:

Name of Applicant

Address of Applicant

City, State, Zip Code


Name of Head of Scholarship Committee (If available)

Name of Scholarship or Institution

Address of Institution

City, State, Zip Code

  1. Subject line

Provide a relevant subject title, e.g.; “Application for [NAME of SCHOLARSHIP] cover letter”

  1. Introductory paragraph

Start with “Dear Sir., Madam., Mr., etc...” in a separate line, then give a short introductory statement and purpose for writing.

  1. Second Paragraph

​This paragraph should talk and focus on the educational and career goals of the applicant. It is appropriate to discuss interests and the chosen field of study. 

5. Third Paragraph

​This paragraph needs to focus on strengths. If there are any extracurricular activities or if this person has done any community or voluntary work, it should be stated here. Any academic awards or achievements also need to be listed in this paragraph. 

6. Final paragraph

Finally, tell them confidently you are capable enough to complete the program successfully. do not forget to close with thank you and some words of appreciation.

7. Signature

End the letter with:


Signature of Applicant

Printed Name of Applicant

If the letter is being sent via email the subject line should have your full name followed by Application for [NAME of SCHOLARSHIP]. End the email with Best regards, your first and last name and your phone number.

Make sure you spell check your cover letter and proofread it several times. A cover letter with grammar mistakes will not make you look like a professional and well-educated student.

Armando Gutierrez

4215 Duval St

Austin, TX, 78751

(512) 522-6167


Example of a cover letter

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 architecture, I am writing to express my desire to participate in the University Leadership Scholarship Program. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a strong passion for architecture, my favorite Texas landmark being the pink granite edifice of the State Capitol. 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 designing affordable and environmentally sustainable housing. My passion for this field was inspired by my winning virtual city design for the National Future City competition, and I am all too aware of the impact of high housing costs and environmental destruction on underprivileged communities. 

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.

Best Regards,

Armando Gutierrez

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

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