A letter of intent for a scholarship is also referred to as a personal statement or statement of purpose. Basically, you are writing an essay about your future--what you plan to do in college and beyond. You want to convince the scholarship committee that you deserve the money to help you go to college and become the best in your chosen field. You will also include a little of your educational background and extracurricular activities to show you are well-rounded, and you will succeed in college and in your chosen career.
Read the scholarship guidelines carefully. Make sure you know everything the committee wants you to include in your letter of intent. Check to see if there are any word or page limits.
Follow the basic rules for writing a cover letter for a job or a business letter. Include your mailing address in the top left-hand corner of the letter. List the date under your return address, and then the person to whom you are addressing the letter and her street address under the date. Address your letter to a specific person if possible.
Begin the letter of intent with introducing what you plan to study in college and why it is important to your career field. For example, you could begin your letter of intent with a statement such as: "I am excited to pursue my love of teaching at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., in the fall. I plan to major in English during my undergraduate studies. As a graduate student, I will major in elementary education. I want to research ways to improve reading instruction in elementary classrooms." You are setting forth your college plans in a brief paragraph.
Be as specific as you can, especially if you are applying for a graduate scholarship. If you know the universities you want to attend, mention these, as well as some of the faculty members you want to work with.
Follow your college plans with a paragraph about your past school experiences, leadership qualities and experience and work in the field. Give the scholarship committee several examples of your dedication of pursuing a career. End your letter with your short-term and long-term career goals, such as: "After graduate school, I plan to teach in a public school in Missouri. I want to lead a committee at my school on improving students' reading comprehension. I plan to take leadership roles at the school. I want to have daily communication with the parents of my students because I believe strongly in the home-school connection for success in a child's education."
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