How to Choose Who Will Write Your Letter of Recommendation Writer for College Scholarships

Students seeking college scholarship money need to think long and hard about who they ask to write their letters of recommendation.


The letter of recommendation is an extremely important part of scholarship applications. Besides the essay, it is a chance for the scholarship judge to learn personal details about the student.

What most students don’t realize is that choosing who would be the best option for writing the letter should depend on the type of scholarship that they are applying for.

For example, a scholarship that rewards students for volunteering (like this one) would be a perfect place to include a letter of recommendation from a director of an organization where a student has spent hours volunteering. This person should be one who has worked closely with the student and can share details of his or her work ethic, contributions, and experiences.

When deciding on who should write a letter of recommendation, students need to first identify the type of scholarship.

Here are a few suggestions:

Type of Scholarship Letter of Recommendation Writer
Healthcare Medical Personnel
Engineering Higher Level Math Teacher/Robotics Mentor
Community Service Volunteer Coordinator
Talent Based Music Instructor, Photography Specialist, etc…

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to who should write a scholarship letter of recommendation is just plain SMART.

In the Paying for College 101 Facebook group, the question was asked about who should be the letter writer for college admissions and the answers were fantastic!

These suggestions can also be used for scholarship letters of recommendation.

Remember, a student should only ask the people whom they admire and have worked closely with over time. (In other words, don’t ask a local politician to write a letter of recommendation if he or she has never met you.)

Possible Letter of Recommendation Writers:

  • Teachers
  • High School Principals/Vice Principals/Counselors
  • Pastors/Clergy
  • Robotics Mentors
  • Athletic Coaches
  • Music Instructors
  • Test Prep Tutors
  • Academic Tutors
  • Employers
  • Volunteer Directors and Staff
  • Club Coaches
  • Scout Leaders
  • 4-H Leaders
  • Politicians
  • Internship Directors

This list is valuable for deciding WHO to ask to write a letter of recommendation for scholarships, now head over to this post to learn how to help the writer create the best and most detailed letter as possible.

This post originally appeared on How to Win College Scholarships. It has been reprinted with permission.

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