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Scholarship and Awards FAQ

Letters of Recommendation

You may need to ask for a letter of recommendation as a part of your award or scholarship application. These letters are needed by the selection committee to review your:

  • Academic and scholastic abilities
  • Leadership experience and qualities
  • Participation in extracurricular activities

As an applicant, you will need to choose a referee who can submit a letter of recommendation that describes your suitability for the award. The way you request a letter of recommendation can influence the quality and type of response you get from your referee.

Your referees can be outside of Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Each award application has different requirements. Award-specific requirements can be found in AwardSpring (external link, opens in new window) .

Who you choose depends on the requirements for the award application.

Request a letter from someone who knows you well enough to write a personal letter for you. This is better than a general letter from someone who may not know you well enough.

Letters about your academic abilities should be written by an academic individuals like:

  • Teachers
  • Professors
  • Teaching assistants

They will be able to confirm your achievements, future goals, and research experience that they have supervised.

Letters about your leadership abilities, extracurricular activities, community involvement and contributions outside of the classroom should be written by non-academic individuals like:

  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Community/religious leaders

Choose someone who is directly related to your work outside of the classroom.

Letters of recommendation should not be written by family members, relatives or friends.

You should contact your referee by email or in-person meeting three to four weeks before the letters of recommendation are due. This will give you time to connect with your referee and give them information about:

  • The award you are applying for
  • Why you are applying for it
  • Your goals and accomplishments
  • Your resumé or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Your community involvement
  • Any other details

Make sure that your referee knows the deadline to submit the letter of recommendation and how they will be submitting it.

Once you have connected with them, you can submit the letter of recommendation request via the award application in AwardSpring (external link, opens in new window) .

You can enter your referee's name and contact information, as well as a message to the recipient. There is a template email already set up in the text box, but we encourage you to personalize your request. When you click Send Request, an email will be sent directly to your referee asking for their support. Your referee can be someone outside of TMU (i.e. they do not need a TMU email address to complete the request). 

Form to request a letter of reference. Includes fields for the recipient's name and email and a field for a message from the requester.

Continue to check your application in AwardSpring to see if your referee has submitted their letter of recommendation. You will be able to see when the letter requirement has been completed in AwardSpring.

AwardSpring page showing the status as "Completed" for a requested letter of recommendation.

If they have not submitted the letter of recommendation, follow up with them to check and see if they need any additional information from you.

We recommend that you contact your referees with a minimum of three to four weeks' notice before the award application deadline.

Each award application has a different deadline date. Visit AwardSpring (external link, opens in new window)  to check the specific deadlines for the awards you have applied to.

It is best for your referees to submit their letters before the deadline dates in case they have any technical issues. Submitting letters early also gives you time to submit your award application.

Your referee will receive an email from AwardSpring with a link to upload their letter to AwardSpring.

Email to a referee from AwardSpring with TMU logo at the top. Includes a message from the student and a link to respond to the request.

Once your referee has uploaded their recommendation letter and you’ve completed all other follow-up items for the award, click the Submit Application button to submit your application.

Note: This must be done before the award application deadline. No late submissions will be accepted if your referee does not submit their letter of recommendation on time.

Submit Application button on AwardSpring.

No, all letters of recommendation must be completed electronically by your referee. An email will be sent to the email address you provided. It will direct them to a secure form to upload their letter of recommendation to AwardSpring.

Make sure you have provided the correct email address when completing the letter of recommendation request in AwardSpring. Ask your referee to check all possible spam folders. Emails are sent from

You may go back into your AwardSpring account and click Resend Request to resend it to your referees. Click Send New Request to send your request to another email address and/or referee.

Form to resend a request or send a new request for a letter from an instructor.

More questions?

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