How to write a motivation letter for scholarship

How to write a motivation letter for scholarship

So you desire a scholarship? Well, it’s not a bad idea. After all, there are countless others out there who are enjoying a similar benefit. But then, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is what is special about you that can make you to be preferred above thousands of others who are also applying for the same benefit. Also, gaining knowledge on how to write a motivation letter for scholarship is highly inevitable. It is one of the key documents you would be asked to submit, and if it is not motivating enough, your application may not be considered.

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As I have noted earlier, writing a letter for a scholarship, among other things, can determine whether your application will be granted or not. This is because a scholarship motivational letter grants you the opportunity to smartly express and advertise yourself to the scholarship board. Your letter of motivation for Masters programme or PhD (depending on what you are applying for) grants you the privilege of giving some interesting and relevant information about yourself as well as prove to the committee that you are more qualified to be considered for the programme than others.

Therefore, in this article, we will be exploring the most common and useful steps that can help you on how to write a letter to apply for a scholarship. While there are countless scholarship motivation letter samples online, my intention is to explain how to go about each of the steps I will be discussing with you.

Writing a letter for a scholarship

Before you ever think of putting your pen on paper and scribbling things down, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself and brainstorm on. Whatever answers you are able to come up with in your brainstorming session, they will serve as outlines for your writing. The questions are discussed below:

  • What makes you special and why should you be considered for this scholarship?

One of the vital things you must bear in mind is the fact that what you are seeking for is also being sought after by so many other people from different places. And so, one of the things the scholarship board wants to know is what distinguishes from the other applicants. Therefore, while writing, present information about yourself, and project your skills, qualities and qualifications in a way that will make you stand out.

  • Why are you applying for this scholarship and not something else?

It is important that you should be able to define the purpose for which you are applying for the scholarship programme. Let the panel know how important the scholarship is to you and why you decided to opt for it among several other alternatives.

  • How much information do you have about the scholarship awarding university and their programmes?

Get the necessary information about the university offering the scholarship programme as well as the programme itself. The website of such university and other printed materials from them can furnish you with ample information that you may need in your writing process. Get to know about their requirements and those things they expect from their candidates.

  • What do you plan to do next after your education?

After they have invested into you, the panel wants to know the impact you plan to make with the education you get if considered for the scholarship programme. This will prove to them that your desire to pursue the programme is not just for selfish interest but to also advance the course of the society.

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Source: ScholarshipOwl

The questions discussed above are so vital that if you are ever going to write convincingly, you must have cogent answers that will prove beyond reasonable doubts that you have thoroughly done your assignment. Remember that it’s not a guessing game, so you have got to research and gather as much information as possible to be able to write effectively.

So, once you have finished the first part of your writing process, we may then proceed to the next stage of applying the information and points you have gathered while brainstorming and researching.

How to write a letter to apply for a scholarship

Basically, there are four aspects to any motivational scholarship letter you want to write. They are the address, introduction, body and the conclusion. So, when you want to start writing your scholarship motivation letter, the following are the step-by-step guide to writing it:

The address

The first thing you will begin with is to write your own address, and then, the address of the university you are writing to. Since you are writing a formal letter, your address and that of the institution you are writing to must be in the formal way as well.

READ ALSO: University of Alberta scholarships for international students

After writing the address, don't forget to write the salutation and the title of your motivation letter.


Usually, you have to start by introducing yourself and this involves stating your name, your level of education, as well as your degree program. This is an introductory sample of motivation letter that you may want to consider.

My name is Sylvester McDonald. I am a fourth year student of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky. Presently, I am pursuing a five-year Bachelor of Computer Science degree. After my graduation, my desire is to pursue a master’s degree given the opportunity.

Another introductory sample is written below:

I am Sylvester McDonald, a motivated student of the University of Maradona. I am presently in my third year studying Communications and Language Arts. Right from my childhood, I have always been motivated by the broadcasters I see on television stations, and have developed a special interest in communicating with the masses in the process. More so, with my listening and writing skills, these give me the added advantage of coming up with various programmes that can solve specific identified problems in the society.

The body

This is the most vital aspect of your scholarship motivation letter. The way you compose here can determine whether you will be considered eventually or your application will be discarded. While you are writing here, bear in mind that you are permitted to use some personal tone of voice, but at the same time, you must ensure you sound professional. Your target here is to prove to the scholarship board that you are the best to be considered. So, the following are vital points you should talk about based on all the points you have gathered in the first stage of your writing process that we discussed earlier.

Talk about the reason(s) why you have chosen that programme

You could consider this first aspect of a letter of motivation sample below:

It was a great delight to me when I found out about this opportunity to learn Communications and Language Arts at the University of Lethbridge. To me as a person, my application for this programme is motivated by the great impact it would make on my future career. I know it will also serve as an opportunity to move out of the shores of my vicinity and learn about the culture of the Canadians (a dream I have held dearly for long) and their educational system. And then, very importantly, I am eager to learn the multifaceted approaches to development communication from a foreign institution.

Mention some personal relevant qualities that you have which you know may stand you out

While writing this, you could consult your CV, but just be sure that you don’t copy everything in there. Use it as a guide. A sample of this is written below:

As you probably would have noted from my enclosed CV, I have a good proven skills in news writing and reporting. I do well also when it comes to editing. I have worked with and managed teams of different categories while as an undergraduate student. And just as one of the key things that make an excellent journalist is timeliness, I am able to meet deadlines of whatever sort. I ensure an excellent completion of whatever task is given to me within the frame of time. More so, I would like to note here that I am acquainted with MS Office, Business Objects and other software that are relevant to my field of study.
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Source: Studyinsweden

What interests you about the institution? Write about it.

Stating the reasons why you have preferred the institution above others is very important. The point is when the scholarship board sees that you have a strong passion for their school, you are more likely to stand a chance of being considered above others. So, you could structure it like this:

I am especially motivated to apply to your institution because of the track record of excellence that the school is known with. Virtually every student that graduated from this institution is known for the waves they are making out there. The learning environment is such that challenges any serious minded student to maintain focus and strive for excellence. The friendly lecturers and their relationship with their students is another major reason why I want to belong to a learning environment like this.

Note that when you are writing on the institution, you must be as real as you can and avoid statements that connote flattery as they are easy to spot out.

Talk about some related past and professional activities that you have embarked on

While I was an undergraduate, I was nominated as part of the School’s editorial team under the supervision of the institution’s Public Relations Officer to develop contents for the School’s house journal. In the process, I was privileged to interview dignitaries from within and outside the campus. This assignment really exposed me to the practical aspect of journalism. I was involved in transcriptions and editing, among others. A few other tasks I have embarked on also are community relations, and development communication oriented projects which had to do with my institution and its host community. It was in the process that I also developed the passion to see people live better and comfortable.


When you are writing your concluding paragraph, try to state again your desire to be enrolled for the program. Once done, express your gratitude in a polite way for the scholarship board’s effort and consideration before you close and sign your letter. The important thing here is to ensure that you summarize the point you have been driving at since you began your writing. Thank the readers and close your letter in a professional way, followed by your full name. Take a look at this sample:

Thank you for your consideration. By the virtue of your assistance, I know I can become a development communications expert going to suburbs and using my knowledge to design programmes that can impart on the dwellers in such places and improve their standard of living.
Yours truly,
Sylvester McDonald.

A final note

After you have written your motivation letter, ensure that you read through again and also get someone to read through it for you. The essence of this is to be sure that there are no errors in it. We hope this sample of a motivation letter helps you write yours successfully. Stay tuned on Yen for similar helpful articles.

Source: Yen

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