What Is a Scholarship Motivation Letter?
A motivation letter is like a cover letter you may include with a job application and resume. The ultimate essence of the letter is to explain:
- Why you are a good candidate for the scholarship
- What you plan to do with the education you receive.
Thus, your chances of being considered for the scholarship depend greatly on the quality of your motivation letter (if required, since not all scholarships require a motivation letter).It is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge before an in-person interview.
Scholarship Review committees often use motivation letters to narrow down their pool of applicants. Then they assess the rest of the application from the candidates they like best.
The motivation letter is a crucial part of your application. The content of this letter speaks volume about your competency for the scholarship. Because motivation letter sets you apart from the other applicants, it is therefore very crucial for you to know the ideal ways of getting this right. This article is giving you some useful tips on getting this done right!
When it comes to writing a good scholarship essay, nobody’s a natural. The essay questions can feel overwhelming, and there aren’t many resources to turn to for guidance. But all of this is actually good news: Since writing an essay is tough for everyone, getting just a little bit better at it will put you that much further ahead of the competition.
Below are some useful tips and guidelines for writing a successful scholarship application letter. They involve the process you go through before writing the letter, what to consider when writing, and the crucial process of checking your work
The Structure of a Scholarship Motivation Letter
Scholarship motivation letters vary by award, but they are structured in the same way. Scholarship essay have the following components:
- An introduction
- Three body paragraphs
- A conclusion
How to write a Motivation Letter
To write a scholarship motivational letter, follow these steps:
- Pick the right scholarship
One mistake that many applicants make is that they work hard writing their scholarship essays, but they don’t put enough time into deciding which scholarships to apply for. This is the wrong approach, and it’s unlikely to produce good results. Generally, there are two important questions you need to answer: why you, and why this scholarship?
Don’t forget to check the scholarship website (in particular their mission) while you are doing this to make sure you know what they expect from you.A scholarship review committee might read thousands of essays to choose a single recipient. They’ll look at tons of impressive candidates, but for them, what they want to find is someone who’s the right fit. What does this mean? Many scholarships are created with a particular population or cause in mind, so you might have everything going for you.
Think of it this way: A master painter won’t get a scholarship that’s intended for a photographer. A math genius won’t get a scholarship that’s intended for a history buff. A baseball player—no matter how good—won’t get a scholarship that’s intended for a football player. It’s that simple. You should also think about mentioning your extracurricular activities and strong personality traits when deciding on what to mention in your letter.
- Respond to the essay. Stay on Point
Before you actually write your essay, take some time to figure out what you’re going to write about. When writing the letter, make sure that you stay on topic! Do not get caught up in the points you are trying to make, so you do not give the reader a definitive answer at the end. To do this, pick apart the essay prompt. What does it explicitly ask for? Is there anything else that you can discern by reading between the lines? Get an idea of what the review committee is looking for, and then give it to them.
Your motivation letter should link your future plans with the goals of the scholarship. How will you benefit from continued education in this field? How will you use this knowledge to support the mission of the scholarship provider?
Deciding on what you’re going to write about is just as important as the writing itself. No matter what the essay topic is, scholarship committees want to get to know you—and decide whether you’re the person they want to award the scholarship to. This is where the “fit” part comes in. If you feel like what the review committee is looking for isn’t what you have to offer, consider finding a scholarship that better matches your qualifications.
You also need to make sure that your body paragraphs relate to your introduction, because the introduction is what gives people an idea of what it is they should be expecting to read. Remember to be specific! You know what it is you are trying to say, but the reader doesn’t know you or the way you think. While you should include any details that are relevant, you should avoid making your letter too long. Make sure your points are comprehensive, concise and clear.
3. Let your writing be Personal yet professional
You must be careful with the tone of your writing. Even though the letter is about you, it is for a professional audience. It may help to think of who will be reading your letter and to write it as if you are addressing someone you have recently met, someone you respect, and someone you want to share your story with. Remember that the person reading your letter does not know you! This may help you to identify an audience.
4. Be genuine and positive
Try to be as original as possible while writing. Remember that you are up against a lot of other applicants for the same scholarship and originality will help you stand out. Be genuine about what you are writing and make the reader feel your personality. It may help to share a bit of your life that is relevant, as this makes the letter a bit more personal. You can give examples of where you have demonstrated relevant skills or personality traits. When bringing in personal examples, you will want to avoid the sob stories. Scholarship committees are not interested in how hard your life has been, but rather how you have overcome the challenges that you have been faced with, and what you have accomplished despite them. Make sure the reader gets a sense of your positive attitude towards life. Enthusiasm is what makes organisations excited about giving you money to pursue your passion and possibly changing the world while doing so.
5. Write like your essay is being graded
Once you actually start writing, it’s important to follow the formal rules of essay composition. Remember the class you took on how to structure an essay? Do that. Is your grammar correct? Are you using paragraphs properly? Did you proofread for typos? Imagine that you’re turning in the essay to be graded. Find more people that you can ask to proofread your letter the better. They may pick up on little mistakes or well give you fresh ideas. Be aware that spell check is good, but it doesn’t catch every mistake. Ask the people reading your letter if they believe every sentence is crucial to the letter, as this should be the case.
6. Put the effort in
Because scholarships are so competitive, it’s important to do everything you can to distinguish yourself. It’ll be work, but this is another reason why it’s so critical to pick the right scholarships to apply to. If you focus on five scholarships instead of 50, you’ll have far fewer essays to write, and you’ll be able to put your full resources toward each of them.
6. Go over your work again after a couple of days
Revision should be done carefully. You are only allowed a certain amount of words, so you want to use them wisely. Make sure you delete anything that does not relate to your main argument. Consider reordering your supporting details, and make the broader implications of your experiences clear. Important arguments need to be at the foreground of the letter. It might help to put your letter aside for some days and then check it again.
Read also how to write a good personal statement for university admission