Scholarship Mom Tip #189: Avoiding Instant Rejection


Who doesn’t cringe when hearing the words, “instant rejection”? Unfortunately, there are many reasons why a student’s college scholarship application may get instantly rejected by the judges. One such reason is when the letter of recommendation written to the wrong person or organization. For example:

Dear College Admissions Officer

Dear University of…

Dear “name of DIFFERENT scholarship”

Because most letters of recommendation are not read by students, as they are either handed to them in a sealed envelope or sent electronically, how do students ensure that their letters are directed to the correct reader?

How to ask for a letter of recommendation

It’s really quite easy. When asking for a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, students need to hand the writer a list of scholarships that they need the letters for and ask to have each letter addressed to that specific organization. It only takes a few minutes to cut and paste each name into the salutation portion and print out or send the correct letter. Also, using the same letter that was written for a college application should never be used for a scholarship application, so students need to double-check with their letter writers to make sure they are not getting the two types of letters mixed up.

Letters of recommendation addressed to the wrong person or organization may seem like a small, insignificant detail, but in the words of a scholarship judge, “Not tailoring your application to the organization and award. Wrong name in your cover letter? No money for you.” OUCH!

RELATED: How to help your letter of recommendation writers 

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Learn more about winning college scholarships

Check out Monica’s guide for parents on Amazon: How to Win College Scholarships: A Guide for Parents in 10 Easy Steps

Want to talk with Monica one-to-one? Click the arrow to learn how!request a call with monica

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