How to Write a Scholarship Appeal Letter (w/Example)

how to write an appeal letter for scholarship

If you’ve won a scholarship, having it revoked is the worst possible scenario. Before you dive into panic mode, there’s good news. You may be able to salvage your situation. By writing a well-worded appeal letter, you might be able to turn the committee’s decision around. 

In this post, we’ll talk about when to write an appeal letter and what it should include. We’ll also include a sample appeal letter that can be used as a template, in a worst-case scenario.  

When to Write an Appeal Letter 

There are a few situations when it would be appropriate to write an appeal letter. 

For example, if there was a change in your financial situation since applying for the scholarship. In this case, writing an appeal letter could help you get more assistance. 

A second reason that warrants writing an appeal is if your scholarship has been revoked. Scholarships can be taken away for a variety of reasons. If you have a good reason for not meeting a scholarship requirement, then an appeal letter can help you get it back.

For example a scholarship may be taken away if a student’s GPA falls below the minimum requirement. If this happens for a valid reason, for example an illness, or the death of an immediate family member, then expressing this in an appeal letter could help you get your scholarship back. 

A final reason for writing an appeal letter would be if you made a mistake on the FAFSA. If you believe that this had an impact on your award, you could address this in a letter.

What Should Your Letter Include? 

Tone

In your letter, you need to ask for help without getting too emotional to the scholarship committee. 

Instead, you should make a good argument as to why you deserve the scholarship. A successful letter does this without complaining, demanding, or playing the role of the victim. 

Don’t beat around the bush in your letter; be upfront. There’s a reason why you’re appealing the committee’s decision. Not being clear about your reasons won’t help your case. 

Attach Documents

If you have documents that you can attach to your letter, they will help to validate your case. The more supporting information you can give to the committee, the more it will help the scholarship committee reconsider your case.

Find the right person

Finally, try and find a direct contact of a person in the scholarship committee or aid office. Make sure to address them by name: Mr. Davis, Mrs. Stevenson, etc. At the end of your letter, thank the person you’re writing for considering your appeal.

Find and follow guidelines

Many scholarships already have guidelines for appealing. If you can’t find where they are written, contact the scholarship committee and ask.

If you have a good case, you could end up winning the scholarship and reversing their decision. 

Remember, be polite and respectful in your letter, even if you’re angry. Finally, make sure to review your letter. It should be free of grammar and spelling errors. 

Example Scholarship Appeal Letter

July 27th, 2019 
Mr. Joe Walker 
Office of Financial Aid 
University of Michigan
515 E Jefferson St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 

Dear Mr. Walker, 

My name is Carl Smith, I am in my junior year at the University of Michigan where I major in electrical engineering. I am so grateful for the scholarship I have received from your institution for the last two years of college. I wouldn’t have been able to attend college without it. 

Unfortunately, I have just been notified that my scholarship is ending because my GPA has fallen below a 3.0. This year, my family has been in a very difficult situation. My mother was diagnosed with cancer. As a result of her condition, I have spent a lot of time going back and forth to California, where my family lives. Of course, this has taken precious time away from the time I can dedicate to school. This hasn’t allowed me to study as much as I would like, and certainly not as much as I studied during the first two years of my degree.

If you take a look at my transcripts that I have attached to this letter, you will see that up until my junior year, I maintained a GPA of 3.5. I take my studies very seriously and am passionate about my degree. 

Fortunately, my teachers have been very understanding of my situation. They are allowing me to do some make-up assignments and retake some tests. This will hopefully raise my GPA. 

A college education means the world to me. Without your help, financing my degree won’t be possible. I’m requesting that you review my case and reconsider me for this award. I am under very pressing circumstances, and could use your help greatly. Thank you very much for taking the time to go over my appeal.

You will find my transcripts attached to this letter. You will also see the appeal form from your organization. If you need any other information, please contact me by phone or email and I will provide you with it.  

Sincerely,

Carl Smith

1082 Northwood Shore
San Diego, CA 
92071
810-320-8942
carl_smith11@gmail.com