Common mistakes in scholarship motivation letter

Below we provided top 10 easy to solve mistakes you should avoid when writing motivation letter for scholarship. Make sure to steer clear of them before submitting next motivation letter.


  1. Name, Surname or full contact details are missing on motivation letter. This may sound stupid, but you would be amazed how many applicants fail to do so.
  2. Exercise of rude and offensive language or even blackmailing selection committee. Yes, it seems crazy, but some of the applicants are using this language in articulating their motivation for scholarship.  If you want to get one, please try to preserve positive spirit and reflect you positive personality instead.
  3. Hard-copy of motivation letter has stains from coffee mugs, lunch plate, etc.  If you do not want to leave impression of being a sloppy and disorganized candidate, send a clean piece of paper. Furthermore try to find waterproof envelope, if it happens to rain while your letter is traveling.
  4. Submission of an application even though you fail to meet minimum requirements. This one is quite hard to overcome, especially if the offer of scholarships is limited and you were not top in the class student. If you still intend to submit your applications with lower GPA than envisaged try to stand out of the crowd in other aspects of your application.
  5. Send it “postage due.” To avoid check before sending with your local post office.
  6. Envelope is being sent out, but you forgot to place all the documents inside. This is quite common mistake. You invested a lot of effort in collecting all the documents, drafting letter and application file, and at the end your concentration went down. Invest additional effort to complete this activity in good manner. It may help if you make a checklist.
  7. Sending an impressive amount of supporting documents even though call for application does not envisages them. Often in order to make a successful applications candidates try to add as much documents as possible, having in mind this may increase their odds. Please avoid this practice and carefully follow application guidelines given in the CFA.
  8. The motivation letter is not readable, because of font type/size, or because of your handwriting.  To avoid use common script, like Times New Roman, or Arial, size 11 or 12. You are advised to use black fonts on the white paper, e.g. to follow practice in formal writing.
  9. Motivation letter has typos. Please bear in mind that one spelling error can doom your application. To avoid use spell-check in your word processing software and ask for your friends to read a letter before submitting.
  10. Sending inappropriate photos. It may be the case that the donor will ask you to submit a photo with your application. In this case the donor has in mind to see your portrait photo, not your selfies, memories from the last summer holiday, or hangover footage. We advise you to go to your local photo shop, and ask the clerk to make you a photo, in size for passport or ID card, and then to send this photo.