To help ease the financial burden of post-secondary education, some colleges, universities and public or private organizations offer bursaries or financial assistance to students. In most cases, the individual seeking funding must complete a bursary application in which they provide information about themselves, their education and their financial need. An application letter is often a requisite accompaniment to this application. Through the composition of a clear, concise and well-worded application letter, a candidate can increase his likelihood of receiving financial assistance for education.
Addressing the Letter
Place the address of the bursary at the top of your letter. Begin your letter with the name and address of the bursary aligned to the left at the top of the page.
Unless you know the name of the official who will be addressing your inquiry, use a standard business salutation, such as "Dear sir or madam." This salutation starts your letter formally and clearly conveys your professionalism.
Stating Your Need
The first paragraph should state the purpose for the letter clearly by concisely writing that you are applying for a bursary. Do not overwrite this paragraph; two to three sentences will suffice. Try to use a professional but conversational tone. Feel free to let your personality shine through.
The second paragraph is where you get to the important information. Explain your course of study in the second paragraph. Tell the bursary where and what you will be studying. You should also briefly describe any current degrees you hold, your personal achievements and plans you may have for further education. This paragraph, like the first, need not be extensive. The bursary likely reads many letters of this nature, so they will appreciate a letter that is clear and does not contain extraneous information.
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The Big Finish
In the third paragraph, explain your career goals and how the education you'll receive will help you achieve them. You can state here any reason you have for pursuing this career path, such as personal experiences or a family connection to that line of work. Lastly, state how grateful you'll be if your request is honored. Don't feel the need to be overly flowery with this section. Simply show your appreciation and close the letter.
Finish with a complimentary closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Yours truly,” and a signature. Type your name below your signature so you can be easily identified, and your letter can be connected to your application. Make sure your letter includes your name, address, phone number and email address.