Letters of recommendation

Scholarships providers frequently ask for letters of recommendation as part of the scholarship application. Letters of recommendation share your positive qualities as a student and tell the scholarship provider why you should to be awarded scholarship aid. These letters provide insight into who you are as a potential recipient.

Selection committees want to know how you excel in professional and educational settings. This can include your communication skills, leadership abilities, teamwork attitude or anything else that sets you apart. If the scholarship provider requires a letter from someone specific, it will be included in the application instructions. Otherwise, select individuals with whom you have an established rapport, can attest to your skills and abilities, and can write a great letter of recommendation. This can include an employer, a clergy member, an instructor, or a volunteer coordinator.

Keep in mind that University of Phoenix advisors cannot write a letter on your behalf; however, your faculty members can.

Building rapport with faculty members

It is your responsibility to establish relationships and build rapport with your faculty members if you intend to ask for letters of recommendation. Here are a few tips you can use to establish rapport with your faculty members.

Be a leader

You have an opportunity to create a lasting impression with your faculty members. Make sure that you are actively involved in your class. Participate in the class discussions more than the required twice a day, four times a week. Take on a leadership role in your learning teams and apply your instructors’ feedback.

Make a connection

As you complete your degree, you will take classes with faculty members with whom you really connect. Build on that connection. Ask the faculty members questions. Seek their input or advice. When class is over, find out if you can stay in contact with them. You can even ask if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation if needed in the future.

Requesting a letter from faculty members

To request a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, complete the Faculty Letter of Recommendation Request. After filling out this form, email it directly to your faculty members. To assist faculty members as needed, copy scholarships@phoenix.edu on your email.

If you are requesting a letter for another purpose, you do not need to use the Faculty Letter of Recommendation Request. Feel free to contact your faculty members directly.

Letter of recommendation tips

Give them plenty of time

Give those you ask ample time to write a great letter of recommendation. Two weeks or more is a good rule of thumb to use. If you give your recommenders less time, don’t be surprised if the letter is less than stellar. Everybody has busy lives so don’t expect them to stop everything to write you a letter.

Provide them with necessary information

Give recommenders as much information as necessary to write a great letter. Tell them why you are applying for the scholarship and include the purpose of the scholarship program so they can include relevant information. Give them some background information about you (career aspirations, degree, volunteer work, and experience). Consider sending them your résumé. If you are asking instructors, send them a copy of a paper to remind them of the work you completed in their class.

Thank them

When recommenders write a letter of recommendation for you, be sure to write a thank you note to them. It shows your gratitude for their help. It also allows you to continue building rapport so you can contact them for future letters if needed.