As I have been compiling lists of scholarships for my weekly Scholarships Saturday post, I’ve noticed that there are quite of few scholarships that require recommendation letters. There are quite a few scholarships with summer deadlines that require recommendation letters. But, how do you get a recommendation from a teacher during summer break?
Most of the scholarship recommendation requirements I have found do not require recommendation forms. This means that a general recommendation letter can be used. If you do not have a general recommendation letter from a teacher, NOW is the time to request a letter before school is out for the summer!
Who Do You Ask?
It’s good to get a variety of letters in case the scholarship requirement asks for a specific individual (i.e. teacher, extracurricular activity adviser, counselor, coach, pastor, supervisor, etc.) It is best to get individuals that know you well to write a recommendation letter. Therefore, find individuals that know more about you than just your name.
When To Ask?
If you are trying to get a recommendation letter before the end of the school year, NOW is the time to ask. The key is to get the writer as much time as possible to write a letter for you.
How To Ask?
For recommendation letters for scholarships, let the writer know that you are planning on applying for scholarships for college and have found that many require recommendation letters. Since you will be continuing your search and may find more scholarships in the middle of summer, let them know that it is best if the recommendation is general and does not list a specific scholarship.
Tip For A Better Recommendation
Besides making sure that the person writing the recommendation knows you well, provide the writer a resume or brag sheet about your accomplishments. This will help them when writing your recommendation letter. Resume/Brag sheets should include information about your extracurricular activities, including leadership positions, outside school activities, work experience, volunteer experience, accomplishments, honors, awards, etc. Your resume should also include your educational plans for the future (i.e. attend a four-year university and major in biology). Your brag sheet should include anything that you are proud of, as well as things that can set you apart from other applicants.
Talk to the people you would like to write a recommendation for you as soon as possible. Having recommendation letters available during the summer will give you an advantage over many other students searching for scholarships this summer. Many students will not be as prepared to submit recommendation letters and will skip over scholarships requiring recommendations!
Now, go out and ask for those recommendation letters. And, don’t forget to thank your writes for their help.