Are you on a search on how to write a good letter of recommendation for students?
One of your students or mentee probably needs an academic reference letter as a key requirement for an application, and you need the help of a sample recommendation letter for students to answer this call. Worry not! In this article, we provide steps and examples to help and guide you through the process.
Drafting out a recommendation letter for students from a professor or mentor is important when a student applies to a university, for masters, scholarship or even a job. By writing this letter, you should try as much as possible to provide a character witness to the recipient on the student’s behalf, because writing a positive reference letter for a student can ensure they stand out from other applicants.
If you need to write a good recommendation letter for scholarship application, a letter of recommendation for masters, or even a recommendation letter for PhD students from a professor or academic mentor, then this article is for you.
What is a student recommendation letter?
How to construct a letter of recommendation for a student
What you should not include in a student recommendation letter
Formatting for a student recommendation letter
Example of recommendation letter for students
Sample reference letters for students (download pdf)
Recommendation letter for masters scholarship
Recommendation letter from professor
Recommendation letter from a mentor
Recommendation letter from an employer
Recommendation letter from a teacher
Recommendation letter from a friend
Recommendation letter from a church
Recommendation letter for medical students
Recommendation letter for PhD student from professor
Letter of recommendation for nursing students
What is a Student Recommendation Letter?
A letter of recommendation for students is a formal document that highlights a student’s character traits, behavior and their work ethic, and also provides information as regards the qualification, experience, skills and achievements of the student to help them in their application process.
This document may be a key requirement for a student applying to study elsewhere for an academic program, or even a career. Someone who has spent time with them in an academic or professional setting often writes a reference letter for a student applying to a university. It is expected that the person who writes the reference letter is well acquainted with the selection criteria of the University as well.
Specifically, the referee has to ensure that the requirements and the expected qualifications of the university matches those of the student, and the letter should be constructed with the aim of persuading the committee that the student is a qualified candidate for the program.
How to Construct a Letter of Recommendation for a Student
If you need help with constructing and writing a reference letter for a student, follow this guide to understand what to include and how to structure the letter:
Get the required academic information you need from the student
The first step to take when writing a recommendation letter for your student is to ask the student for a list of academic achievements, their GPA, and extracurricular activities. You should as well ask for information about the university or job they’re applying to, and even ask for their personal statement to help you further understand their interests and properly direct the letter to the program they are applying to.
Properly address your letter
Addressing your letter appropriately ensures it gets to the right person and can make your recommendation seem more personalized for the reader. You should also ask your student whom the letter should be addressed to. If your student does not have a specific person to address the letter to, you can address your recommendation to a company’s human resources department or a university’s admissions office.
Introduce yourself and your qualifications
When writing a reference letter for a student, you should identify who you are and how you’re qualified to speak on the student’s behalf. Your credibility as the student’s lecturer or professor offers an admissions board or employer a valued opinion about the candidate.
Specify your academic relationship with the student
After introducing yourself and your qualification, discuss how you got to know the student, and how long you’ve known the student for. This item can be an extension of your job title, directly identifying your role in the student’s academic career. Describing your first impression of the student and how you’ve watched them develop into the well-rounded student they are, can also be an added advantage. Consider phrasing your perspective of the student in terms of how they surprised or impressed you in the classroom, on their assignments and in other academic settings.
Highlight the student’s strengths and qualifications with examples
Pointing out the qualities of a student is one of the key ingredients for writing a good letter of recommendation for scholarship, masters or PhD application because many recruiting or admissions board in universities and companies often look for candidates they believe can contribute to and improve their organization. Consider who is reading your letter, and include examples and information about how the student will benefit the university or company by illustrating their potential success or by including the contributions they made to your school.
You can conclude your reference letter by offering to remain available should the reader have more questions about your recommendation and experience with the student. You can also include your contact information such as a phone number and your email address. This final step can show that you have confidence in the student’s abilities and fully endorse them for the program.
End your letter with a formal letter closing and your name and title. If you are mailing a printed letter, include your signature underneath your typed name:
Signature (for hard copy letter)
Read: Student CV Template
What You Should Not Include in a Student Recommendation Letter
You should be mindful of some common errors people make when writing a character reference letter for scholarship or masters application for a student. Here are 5 things you should not include in your reference letter.
Rewriting student's resume
A recommendation letter should simply describe the character, values, motivation and future goals of the student, rather than repeating the contents of the student's CV.
A generalized recommendation letter leaves much to be desired. You may be tempted to describe the person with vague adjectives such as tenacious, hardworking and optimistic. But these adjectives would fall on deaf ears if there are not supported by examples.
While honest and constructive criticism may be appropriate in certain circumstances, some selection committees prefers when reference letters covers potential areas of growth and development. Limited page and word counts should be spent highlighting the student’s suitability for the opportunity.
Too much emphasis
When writing a reference letter for your student it is advisable to make them look confident and smart, but humble and loyal at the same time. While it feels good to blow your trumpet, focus on human values such as honesty, kindness or hard work. It would make a greater impact on the person you are presenting.
Don't send the letter without proofreading
Proofreading is as important as composing a letter. So don't neglect it. Minor errors can tarnish the impression that the letter is supposed to give. Keep in mind that formatting and avoidance of grammatical blunders are also included.
Formatting for a Student Recommendation Letter
Just like every other formal letter, writing a student recommendation letter means that it has to be formatted professionally. Formatting your reference letter will ensure that your letter becomes unique and pleasing to read.
The letter of recommendation format for students should:
Fill an entire page
Contain 300 - 500 words
Entail a letterhead, an introduction, two paragraphs and conclusion
Adopt a font size of 12 - 14
Employ Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri fonts
Have Receiver's address to the left side
Begin with a courteous greeting such as Sir/ Madam Or
Use "To Whom it may Concern " if not sure who receives it
Example of Recommendation Letter for Students
Below is a reference letter example for students, which can also be a sample recommendation letter for graduate students that you can use as a guide to write a recommendation letter for a student:
Prof. Joe Barnabas,
42, Springfield Avenue,
2nd January, 2022
To The Admissions Team,
University of Munich,
Reference Letter in Respect of Grace Nicholas
It is my pleasure to write to recommend Grace Nicholas who has applied for an admission to study for a Master’s program in International Health Management at your institution.
I have known Grace for about four years now. She was my undergraduate student at the Department of Sociology, Ontario State University, where she graduated with a Second Class Upper Division degree in 2021. She was also my project student and was committed and dedicated to her duties.
Grace is a hardworking, diligent, brilliant and dedicated student. She is also capable of establishing camaraderie and rapport with people of all age groups and has excellent written and verbal communication skills.
A Master’s program in International Health Management will help Grace achieve some of the set objectives of her future career endeavors.
I strongly recommend her for admission at your institution. For further information, kindly contact me at [email protected]
Prof. J. Barnabas
Sample Reference Letters for Students (download pdf)
It might interest you to know that writing the best recommendation letter for scholarship application, recommendation letter for master's scholarship or recommendation letter for postgraduate studies have samples which you can download in pdf formats for future references.
Here are some sample request for letter of recommendation for students depending on your role in the person's life.
Recommendation Letter for Masters Scholarship
Recommendation Letter from Professor
Recommendation Letter from a mentor
Recommendation Letter from an Employer
Recommendation Letter from a Teacher
Recommendation Letter from a Friend
Recommendation Letter From a Church
Recommendation Letter for Medical Students
Recommendation Letter for PhD Student from Professor
Letter of Recommendation for Nursing Students
Following the letter of recommendation format for students, examples and the student reference letter pdf samples provided in this article, you should be able to use this as a guide to navigate the way you compose your letter, in order to endorse your student to stand a chance of qualifying for their application to any organization.