Sending a thank you letter after receiving a scholarship award may seem old-fashioned, but it is still an important way to express your gratitude. With rising college costs, scholarships provide essential financial assistance for students pursuing higher education. Thanking your scholarship donors not only shows appreciation but also creates goodwill to potentially help future students.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about crafting the perfect thank you note for your scholarship award.
Why Send a Scholarship Thank You Letter?
In today’s digital world, you may wonder if a handwritten scholarship thank you letter is still necessary. With so many ways to communicate at your fingertips, taking the time to write a formal thank you note can seem outdated. However, sending a letter is still considered proper etiquette and an appropriate way to show your appreciation for this generous gift.
Here are some key reasons to send scholarship donors a thank you letter:
- Shows Appreciation – The letter allows you to clearly articulate just how thankful you are to receive this financial award to help fund your education. Not all students take the time to say thanks, so writing a letter makes your gratitude stand out.
- Creates Goodwill – Sending a thank you letter makes a positive impression on the donor. Showing appreciation can motivate donors to continue awarding scholarships in the future to help students like you.
- Provides Closure – Getting a scholarship involves corresponding with donors, committees, universities and more. Sending a thank you letter provides closure to the application process and award cycle.
- Supports Future Students – Scholarship providers often like to hear how their donations make an impact through student testimonials. Sharing your story encourages them to give again.
In short, sending a thank you letter is the right thing to do after someone helps support your academic journey. A little gratefulness can go a long way in this situation.
When to Send Your Thank You Letter
You want to ensure your scholarship donor receives your thank you letter in a timely manner. Ideally, you should send it within 2-3 weeks after receiving notice of the award. This prevents too much time from elapsing between getting selected for/awarded the scholarship and your follow-up note.
If you just found out you earned a scholarship, sending a letter right away captures that excitement. It allows you to explain exactly how much the scholarship means while the emotions are still fresh.
On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long either. If enough time passes after the award notification, sending a letter may come across less genuine. Even if you still greatly appreciate it, the impact can get lost after several months.
Ultimately the most opportune time is within a few weeks after scholarship award notification. However, if more time has passed don’t let that stop you from sending a letter. It’s always appropriate to say thanks no matter how long it’s been!
Scholarship Thank You Letter Format
Your scholarship thank you letter should follow a professional business letter format. This helps convey the sincere and formal tone your note should take. Treat this letter as important correspondence representing your appreciation.
Here are key formatting guidelines:
- 1-2 pages max – A concise letter is best. Avoid rambling across multiple pages.
- Professional header – Include scholarship name, your address, date and donor contact info.
- Formal salutation – Use the donor’s full name and a greeting like “Dear Mr. Smith”.
- Paragraph structure – Organize your message across 3-5 paragraphs.
- Personal closing – Sign your full name to close the letter.
Essentially you want well-organized content in a formal format just like a business letter. Next let’s discuss techniques and examples for structuring your message.
How to Structure Your Thank You Letter
Once you have the proper format, it’s time to craft your unique message. Scholarship thank you letters often follow a similar framework while personalizing details.
Here is an outline you can use:
- State the purpose of your letter – to thank them for awarding you a scholarship
- Specify which scholarship you received and relevant details (award amount, year, etc)
- Include a few sentences expressing deep gratitude for their generosity
- Describe how the scholarship will positively impact your education
- Share a bit about yourself and your background
- Explain your academic status, field of study, and future ambitions
- Highlight campus involvement, volunteering, internships or work experience
- Recap the difference this scholarship will make in furthering your education/career
- Reiterate sincere appreciation for the donor’s support
- Close by signing your full name
Let’s explore some examples that apply these key principles.
Scholarship Thank You Letter Examples
Here are different templates and samples to inspire your own unique letter. Tweak these to reflect personal details and the specifics around your scholarship award.
Example 1 – General Undergraduate Scholarship Letter
May 15, 2024
Jane Smith 123 Education Way Springfield, MO 65123
Scholarships R Us Foundation
Attn: Scholarship Awards Committee
456 Grant Ave. Springfield, MO 65111
Dear Scholarship Awards Committee:
I am incredibly honored to be chosen as a 2024 recipient of the Scholarships R Us Student Scholarship. Thank you for selecting me out of what I imagine was an outstanding group of candidates. I am both thrilled and humbled by your decision.
As an undergraduate studying Communications at the University of Springfield Missouri, this scholarship helps relieve the financial burden that comes with pursuing higher education. With rising tuition costs, every bit of funding makes a difference. Thanks to your generosity, I can worry less about expenses this year and concentrate more wholly on my studies.
In particular, I strive to excel in subjects like journalism, public relations, and research writing to sharpen communication tactics. Beyond coursework, I write for the campus newspaper and serve as Assistant Editor this year. My ambition is to utilize strong writing skills to eventually inform, advocate, and give voice to critical issues in our local community.
I cannot fully articulate my appreciation for your selfless support of students like me through the Scholarships R Us Student Scholarship. It motivates me to work hard and embrace opportunities that will prepare me to positively impact society. Thank you again for helping invest in my educational journey.
This sample letter opens with a statement of appreciation naming the specific scholarship received. It touches on how funds help ease the financial situation before segueing into academic details, campus involvement, future goals and final thanks.
Example 2 – Graduate Level Scholarship Letter
September 1, 2024
456 Education Lane Springfield, MO 65814
Dr. John Smith Memorial Scholarship for Higher Education
1234 Scholarship Way
Springfield, MO 65804
Dear Dr. Smith Scholarship Committee:
I am deeply honored to be chosen as the 2024 graduate recipient of the Dr. John Smith Memorial Scholarship for Higher Education. This award holds special meaning given Dr. Smith’s admirable legacy as an innovator in the medical technology field. His breakthrough designs and research improved countless lives, which inspires me to make similar positive impacts through my graduate studies in biomedical engineering.
As a Masters student at the University of Springfield Missouri, this scholarship helps make my continued studies possible. Coming from a working class background, finances have always played a factor in my education. Awards like this allow me to pursue my degree full-throttle by easing associated costs. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for your support.
This semester, I am taking fascinating coursework around prototype design, product testing, and validation studies. My plan is to leverage this specialized knowledge as I develop a start-up focused on wearable health devices following graduation. With hard work and continued learning, I hope to one day also be regarded as a pioneer in medical tech advancements just like the late Dr. Smith.
Thank you again to the committee, university, and family behind this scholarship honoring an inspiring inventor. I will strive to apply what I’ve learned to dreaming up innovations that advance quality of life like Dr. John Smith did with his work. Exciting times lie ahead!
This example emphasizes the connection to the namesake behind the graduate scholarship awarded. It mentions how the focus of studies ties to that field and highlights future entrepreneurial goals.
Example 3 – High School Senior Scholarship Letter
May 1, 2024
789 College Ave Springfield, MO 65321
Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
987 Visionary Road Springfield, MO 65111
Dear Future Foundation Scholarship Committee:
I am incredibly grateful for the Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship as I prepare to start my first year at Springfield State University this upcoming fall. As a high school senior, receiving this recognition and funding helps tremendously with the transition into college. Thank you for investing in my future.
During my senior year at Springfield High School, I challenged myself by taking honors courses, leading the debate team as president, and volunteering with local nonprofits. I will bring this drive and desire to positively impact my community to everything I do in college as well.
At Springfield State I plan to study political science with a minor in communications. My goal is to learn how to critically analyze policy issues while crafting messages that resonate with citizens needing support. I hope to run for local office one day to be a champion for change in our city.
The Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship allows me to begin my college journey with less financial stress. Instead I can focus energy on getting involved campus organizations, securing internships in the state capital, and absorbing all there is to learn. I am eager to take advantage of opportunities that will prepare me to excel in public service roles after graduation.
Thank you again to the Future Foundation for recognizing my potential and providing resources to help start my first year strong. I am determined to lead by example and become a woman leader people want to invest in too. Your generosity motivates me to pay it forward. I can’t wait to see others pursue their purpose because of my support down the road, just like you have uplifted me today with this scholarship.
My journey is just getting started thanks to advocates like yourselves!
Key Details to Include
As demonstrated through samples, there are a few key details to incorporate that personalize your scholarship thank you letter:
✅ Specify the scholarship name – This recognizes donor intent and area of study support
✅ Note the award amount (if possible) – Quantifies the generous support
✅ Mention academic year – Puts the timing into perspective
✅ Share academic details – Allows visibility into how pursuing degree/career goals
✅ Explain future ambitions – Shows the student aims to create an impact
Also try to work in campus involvement, course highlights, internships/work, or any interesting experiences that show your development.
7 Tips for Writing Scholarship Thank You Letters
Beyond the core format and content to include, keep these additional tips in mind:
1. Personalize the Letter
While you can start with a template, make sure to infuse personalized details throughout your letter. Include specific examples related to the scholarship, your background, academic interests etc. Avoid just copying a generic sample verbatim.
2. Proofread Carefully
Typos, grammar issues, and sloppiness leave a bad impression communicating otherwise positive news. Ask someone to help proofread as a second set of eyes before sending your letter.
3. Send Promptly
Ideally your note should go out 2-4 weeks after scholarship award notification. This prevents too much time from passing while allowing leeway from hectic student schedules.
4. Use a Professional Format
A polished, business letter format gives the formal tone appropriate when communicating with donors and foundations. Follow standard letter writing guidelines.
5. Show Excitement/Gratitude!
The letter presents a chance to convey genuine enthusiasm and thankfulness for scholarship support. Share how meaningful the award is in furthering your academics and career.
6. Double Check Contact Info
Before hitting send, double (or triple) check the contact information and donor name are 100% accurate to avoid misdirected letters.
7. Follow Up if Needed
If you don’t receive confirmation of receipt after a few weeks, consider a quick follow up. Politely verify the letter reached its intended audience successfully.
Applying these pointers will help produce customize scholarship thank you notes that impress donors and stand out.
Thank You Letter Dos and Don’ts
To recap, here is a quick list of scholarship letter dos and don’ts as you compose your note:
✅ Personalize with your unique story
✅ Proofread carefully to prevent errors
✅ Use a formal format and professional tone
✅ Express genuine excitement and gratitude
✅ Share academic/career ambitions
✅ Send within a few weeks of award notice
✅ Follow up if no confirmation of receipt
❌ Simply copy generic letter examples
❌ Include informal language or slang
❌ Write a lengthy letter with meandering details
❌ Delay sending your thank you letter for months
❌ Forget to provide contact information
❌ Neglect mentioning the scholarship by name
Keeping these dos and don’ts in check will produce thank you letters that make memorable, positive impressions.
Thank You Letter Templates
For quick reference, here are basic templates you can customize:
High School Scholarship Template
Your full name
Your full address
Scholarship donor full name Donor organization/university name Full address
Dear Donor name,
Introduction thanking donor for scholarship name/details
Paragraph on what this means for your upcoming college transition
Overview of your background, interests, goals
Appreciation and gratitude for donor generosity/kindness
Sign off with full name
**College Scholarship Template **
Your full name Your university address
Scholarship donor organization *Donor full name *
Dear Donor name,
Intro paragraph thanking donor for specific scholarship details
Explain how this helps further your exact degree and field of study
Share academic course highlights, campus involvement, future goals
Final note of sincere gratitude and appreciation
Official sign off with full name
Tweak the language to reflect your unique situation and voice. But these templates capture the core flow for scholarship thank yous.
Sample Letter Sign-Offs
As you conclude your letter, here are some closing options to mix and match:
- With gratitude,
- Thank you again,
- Best regards,
- Forever grateful,
- With deep appreciation,
Choose your sign-off based on formality and how well it captures your tone. Then include your handwritten or electronic signature.
Scholarship Thank You Letter FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions around writing scholarship thank you letters:
Who should my scholarship thank you letter be addressed to?
Ideally address it directly to the individual donor, family, foundation or organization sponsoring that scholarship specifically if known. If not, address it generically to the selection committee, foundation, university fund etc.
Where do I mail or email my thank you letter?
Guidance will often be provided on submission specifics when you receive scholarship award details. If not, request information on where to send from the awarding body.
What are key details to include?
Specifics like the scholarship name, award amount if relevant, the academic year received, your degree program and future ambitions help personalize the content.
How soon should I send my letter after notification?
Within 2-4 weeks of getting notice you received the scholarship is best for prompt yet genuine thanks.
Is a handwritten or typed letter preferred?
Either works fine, just ensure neat penmanship if handwriting. Choose whatever allows you to most clearly communicate the message.
Do I have to use fancy stationery or branded paper?
Plain letterhead or stationary is perfectly fine. The focus is your sincere message more so than embellished paper products.
How do I get the letter to the donor if no instructions came with notification?
Politely reach out to the awarding body to request where to mail or email your thank you letter to upon completion. Provide your scholarship details (name, cycle, year etc).
We hope these commonly asked questions help clarify best practices for sending your note!
Why Thank You Letters Matter
While it may feel awkward or seem antiquated to write formal thank you letters in modern times, they serve an important purpose. Scholarship funds make a monumental difference in access to education for many students facing financial hardship or strain. Donors and committees dedicate significant time, energy and funds investing in these awards.
That’s why a simple letter eloquently articulating your gratitude makes an impact. It puts a face and story to connect with the scholarship. Your note shows donors firsthand how their generosity lifts up students in pursuing dreams that shape our future.
So embrace the tradition of handwritten communication to stand out and create positive change!