Letters of Recommendation for Graduate School Scholarship
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Choosing your recommenders
These letters are extremely important. Choose
your recommenders carefully. Think of the letters as an integral
part of a package that will present an accurate and complete picture
of you and your qualifications. Because the Regents' Scholarship
considers not only academic achievement, but leadership ability and
community service as well. While maybe one letter of recommendation
should be from an academic source, at least one should address your
leadership abilities and commitment to the community.
The ideal letter of recommendation
Your letters of recommendations should
come from teachers or academic advisors who are familiar
not only with your academic abilities, but with your
personal interests and background and how those relate
to your ability to carry out the program of study you
wish to pursue. If the teacher or academic advisor is
familiar with your extracurricular activities and
leadership abilities, s/he should also incorporate that
into the letter.
The letters should address the qualifications
sought. Recommenders should address only those elements of your
application on which they can comment confidently.
How to ask for a letter of recommendation
Start early. Discuss your plans with
your recommenders now, before the application is even
available. Let them know what you would like to study
and why you want to apply for Regents' scholarship.
These discussions can help you clarify your goals and
plans as well.
As soon as you have the application forms
(available at your high school counselor's office, the office of
Outreach Services and the Scholarship Office around November),
schedule a meeting with your recommender. Give your recommender a
written description of the scholarship and a copy of your personal
statement and proposed academic program. You may also want to
provide a copy of your transcript and an autobiography or resume
highlighting activities and honors. You should also give your
recommenders appropriately addressed envelopes with postage, if
necessary. Be sure to also give them plenty of time to write the
letter, do not wait until the last minute.