GVTC Blog

Securing Scholarship Recommendation Letters

by Paula Novodvorschi | Nov 22, 2019

High School Graduation

It’s daunting, really. The inevitable stop we all make at the intersection of high school graduation and real life begins. In some cases, it doesn’t even sink in until the first Monday after graduation when you realize there’s no school to attend that day - or any day - unless you make an active decision to turn the wheel at this sudden crossroad.

High School GraduationAdulting is hard, and there are a million and one things to decide post - and more importantly pre- graduation. College comes into question. Especially paying for college comes into question. So, what can you do to soften the blow? Prepare for the un-preparable? Get your foot in the door - any door really - to feel some semblance of direction or purpose?

With The GVTC Foundation scholarship applications opening January 22, 2020, we’re here to tell you about one thing that’ll help set you up for success.

Rec Letters

No matter which direction your life takes you, one clichésque, fruitful piece of advice remains true: connections are everything. The professional relationships you build from here on out have the potential to set you up for career opportunities and even help lessen your debt load post (2nd) graduation - whether that’s from a four-year university, technical institute or vocational program.

Recommendation letters - like graduation itself - sound like a daunting task. Something you put off because you either 1) don’t feel like you have a strong enough connection with a teacher or mentor to ask or 2) don’t know how to go about getting one. The problem with these mental roadblocks is that they’re just that - all in your head. Most adults are not only willing but eager to help support your aspirations - especially when it involves the green. All you have to do is ask.

Asking for Recommendation Letters

When asking for a recommendation letter, there are two things your request should include:

  1. Time

  2. Context

The former involves professional courtesy. It’s always best practice to give your mentor or teacher at least 1 month (minimum) to complete a recommendation letter for you. While checking a letter off your list may be a top priority for you, it’s probably only one of a hundred tasks on their adult-sized plate of responsibilities. Thankfully, The GVTC Foundation scholarship applications are open January 22 - March 16, 2020. That gives you nearly two whole months to secure recommendation letters. 0000158500-001-9

The later involves detail. A mentor is way more likely to meet a deadline when they’re given all the necessary information during your initial request. Things like a due date, purpose (what scholarship or organization needs it), and delivery format (how they should submit it) are all very crucial details to include when requesting a recommendation letter. Depending on which GVTC Foundation scholarship you choose to apply to (hint: you can apply to all four!), each requires 1-3 recommendation letters, all submitted through the online portal provided for your application.

If you’re unsure how to go about writing a request email, here’s a sample letter to help you get started!

Choosing a GVTC Foundation Scholarship

It’s no secret that not everyone fits into the traditional four-year college degree plan. Career paths are evolving, and we’re determined to provide resources for every possible turn after high school graduation.

The GVTC Foundation offers up to $50,000 in scholarships each year, divvied up four ways:

Any high school graduating seniors who live in a household that subscribes to one or more of GVTC’s services/products is eligible to apply!

And you guessed it. Each scholarship requires at least one recommendation letter to be considered. But don’t let that scare you! The time you invest now to secure scholarship recommendation letters is also a literal invest into your future - one both you and your parents will be grateful for down the road.