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Writing a reference

It is important that the referee selected to provide the scholarship reference has detailed knowledge of the candidate; preferably a current teacher or supervisor. 

Ideally the reference should be tailored for the scholarship application but it can be the same reference as used for the UCAS application; we need the reference to be submitted to the Financial Support Office as part of the scholarship application. 

What to include in the scholarship reference

  • Information about the school/college; type of students
  • How long the referee has known the applicant, and in what capacity
  • Academic knowledge of the applicant especially anything distinctive that differentiates from other candidates
  • Applicant's previous exam performance and their ranking in relation to their cohort or previous cohorts
  • Information on extra-curricular activities; engagement with the school or local community
  • Information on family circumstances or financial background, if known
  • Applicant's participation in free school meals, if applicable
  • Applicant being in receipt of bursary, if applicable

How to provide the reference

The referee should email the reference directly to financial-support@lse.ac.uk. The email must come from an official (ie, school or college) email address, and should include the applicant's full name and LSE ID number.

The referee can also provide the reference to submit together with the scholarship application. In this case the reference must be on school headed paper and a protected format such as a PDF.

It can be the same reference as used for the UCAS application but we need an additional copy to be submitted as part of the scholarship application. 

Things to avoid in a scholarship reference

  • insufficient information concerning exam performance and relation to cohort
  • sounding like it has come from a standard template, rather than being unique to the candidate
  • information about the referee rather than the candidate
  • understatements - if a candidate is an excellent prospect, this should be stated in no uncertain terms
  • being too short (one or two paragraphs) or too long (over a page)