In a world that's more interconnected than ever, young people often chase their academic and professional dreams outside their country's borders. Still, depending on one's financial means, studying abroad can be a costly affair. When you add traveling and living costs to the equation, on top of the tuition fees, it's evident that financial aid is always helpful.
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Fortunately, educational institutions and government bodies have established a system for providing support to aspiring students in need or those who have excelled in their academic pursuits so far.
That support comes, mostly, in the form of scholarships, which are either full-term or cover the costs of a specific period. Scholarships are offered by universities and various public or private organizations. Applying for one is relatively easy and straightforward, however, every institution has a particular set of rules and requirements.
In most cases, a scholarship application has to be accompanied by a motivation letter, which showcases a student’s will and suitability for the scholarship, so learning how to write one is a valuable skill.
What is a motivation letter for scholarship applications?
As mentioned above, scholarships come in many shapes and sizes, are offered by various sources, and have different requirements. However, most of those are fact-based, and their purpose is to prove a candidate's eligibility for applying in the first place. Applicants must provide proof of their academic achievements, such as their GPA, professional experience, financial status, etc., depending on the aid type (need-based, merit-based, profession-based, etc.).
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So, when a potential benefactor asks for a motivation letter, aspiring beneficiaries must see it as a unique opportunity to make their application stand out by promoting it in their own words. To put it bluntly, a letter of motivation may take additional time and effort, but, if written correctly, it can make a huge difference for your application.
A motivation letter for a scholarship application is a summary of your credentials, followed by a presentation of why you deserve to be granted aid. That can be argued, for instance, by talking about everything you hope to achieve if you get the scholarship, regarding your education, your professional future, and, ultimately, the impact you make on the world.
Before writing a scholarship motivation letter...
Having established how a letter of motivation can boost someone's chances of acquiring a scholarship, we can move on to the basics of writing one. For starters, here are a few things you should keep in mind beforehand:
The next step is to outline the content of your scholarship motivation letter, follow the proper structure, and start writing from your heart.
What’s a good scholarship motivation letter structure?
The purpose of writing a scholarship motivation letter is to address the committee in your own voice and actively support your application with passion and honesty. However, you cannot (and should not) write freely. You must follow some basic rules, especially regarding the letter's structure and content.
In short, a scholarship motivation letter must consist of:
Quite simple, huh? Remember that every candidate will follow a similar structure in their scholarship motivation letter. That means you must make yours more heartfelt and convincing than everyone else's.
Scholarship motivation letter - Sample
Note that some funding providers include scholarship motivation letter samples in their guidelines or websites. So, don't start writing before checking out the official resources.
If not, here's a scholarship motivation letter sample to use as a model for yours. The instance is applying as an accepted bachelor's candidate for a scholarship provided by the University:
*Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is X, and I'm currently in my senior year at X High School. Soon, I will graduate, and I plan to pursue a bachelor's in X at the University of X. With this letter, I would like to express my interest in one of the full-term scholarships granted by your institution.
During my final high school years, I focused on acquiring the skills, knowledge, and entry-level experience needed to excel in my upcoming bachelor's in X. More specifically, I have excelled in X, Y, and Z and was particularly active in the X club; a group of students sharing a passion for X and their desire to study and make it their profession. Additionally, I have worked as an X intern for the last two summers, and I have arranged to resume my internship again this year.
I chose this program at the University of X after extensive research, having established that the institution's features and offerings perfectly match my academic and professional aspirations. In that light, a full-term scholarship will allow my total commitment to making the most out of the school's internship and research opportunities. Besides acquiring the best available education in X to lay the groundwork for a bright future, I long to invest my time and effort in becoming one of the best ambassadors of the University's X program.
It's something I aspire to do, along with using my scientific proficiency to be part of innovative solutions to the world's challenges, persisting and new. That's what I pursued with my internship at X, where I contributed to several municipality-funded projects aiming to deal with current community problems.
To achieve that in the long run, I plan to extend my education to the master's and PhD levels. That's one of the main reasons I chose the University of X, as it offers some of the best postgraduate and research-oriented programs in the country. Additionally, I wholeheartedly respect that the institution is an active member of various scientific initiatives for addressing and confronting some of the world's major problems. In fact, I cannot wait to join you and start contributing to the greater good from day one.
In conclusion, this scholarship could be a significant boost for fulfilling my dreams and reaching my full potential as a University of X graduate. I'm grateful to you for considering my application, and I look forward to your response.
Consider using this motivation letter example as a guide to writing yours. Just remember that you'll have to adjust your content according to the body or institution offering the scholarship, and talk about how your plans match their cause or requirements. For instance, if it's a scholarship given to students from your country of origin, you must show that you fully represent your country's values.
A motivation letter can be necessary in many cases besides scholarship applications, such as to accompany a university application. If you want to apply to a university in Germany, you can explore how to write a motivation letter for a German university and stand out in the best way.
A few last words on writing a motivation letter for scholarships applications
Scholarships are an excellent opportunity for international students to fund their studies and fulfill their academic dreams. But, as expected, the competition for financial aid is usually very high. That's why committees ask candidates for a motivation letter along with the regular paperwork. It's a way to screen the first wave of applicants and pick the “winners” from the best of the lot.
In that light, you must be extremely careful and thorough when writing your scholarship motivation letter because it can make a huge impact on the response to your application.
Just don't forget to:
Submit an exceptional scholarship motivation letter and get ready to get the scholarship that will fund your dreams!