Letters of recommendation are one of the critical requirements during or after an application process and it assists reviewers in learning more about an applicant growth, achievement and accomplishments from someone else.  While an applicant may have all the required qualifications in view, a recommendation letter is an opportunity for someone else to attest, introduce and share more information (about why you deserve whatever purpose the recommendation letter is meant for)

If you are going to write a recommendation letter for a student, it is important you know the student personally either through various means such as involvement with a community organization, studies, in a professional work setting or as an individual who will further explain their direct connection to you within the letter. An outstanding recommendation letter can help a student stand out amidst the competition


  • Letters should be written within a year of your application; recommendation letters that are written years before, do not showcase your growth and recent achievements.
  • Recommendation letters must not be written by family members.
  • If your recommendations require online submission, ensure you do not upload twice.


Tips: recommendation letter for a student:

  • Include the full name of the applicant.
  • You must Indicate how long you have known the applicant.
  • Discuss in brief how the capacity and nature in which you have known the applicant.
  • Except otherwise stated, the recommendation letter should not be less than 400 words nor more than 1000 words.
  • Provide your letter on official stationery with your contact information listed.


These are the suggested areas to write about in recommendation letter for students:

  • Discuss why the applicant would be a strong candidate for this specific scholarship. How does this applicant exemplify selection criteria specified by the scholarship? Specific examples are critical for an effective letter.
  • Discuss the applicant’s personal characteristics, especially in leadership skills and communication skills.
  • Comment on the applicant’s proposed plan of study and what past experiences witnessed by you relate to the applicant’s aptitude, retained interest, completion of a degree in the subject matter, and benefit given to society upon graduation within this program.
  • From your perspective, how effective is the applicant in establishing and maintaining relationships?
  • To what extent does the applicant on your recommendation letter possess the traits of motivation and persistence?
  • Is there any reason to doubt the applicant’s diligence as a student and his or her honesty?
  • Share documented evidence of the applicant’s achievements in academics, leadership, or community service.
  • Does the applicant have any unique competencies, talents or leadership abilities?
  • What motivates this person? What excites him or her?

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