How to Write a Scholarship Thank-You Letter

It’s important. Here’s how to craft a heartfelt thanks.

In 2017, the average American family spent $26,458 on college tuition. Education costs continue to rise, and to keep up with the growing financial burden, many students are tapping into scholarship opportunities to secure additional funding.

The competition is often stiff, but students who put together a compelling personal essay and apply strategically stand to take home a sizeable chunk of money. (Want to know how? Check out some examples of scholarship essays that won our OppU Achievers Scholarship for inside tips.) Once a student is awarded a scholarship, it’s good etiquette and common practice to write a thank-you letter as a gesture of appreciation.

Not sure if you should? Not sure what to say? We can help you out.

Why You Should Write a Thank-You Letter

Writing a thank-you letter is, simply put, good etiquette. It’s good etiquette for birthdays, graduation gifts, holiday presents—basically anytime somebody gives you something, and this includes scholarship money, too.

Do you have to write a thank-you letter? No. You won’t lose your scholarship if you don’t.

However, it’s become common practice for scholarship recipients to thank their donors, and students who don’t might stick out. In addition, there are benefits to making a good impression with donors. Doing so can help build valuable academic and professional relationships. Also, for students who plan to reapply in the future, sending a thank-you letter can help boost their standing with the scholarship committee.

The best time to show your appreciation to your scholarship donor is immediately after receiving your scholarship award. A follow-up a year later shows a little extra thought.

How to Write a Scholarship Thank-You Letter

  1. Decide whether to email or hand-write your letter. The most common thank-you letter response will be done over email for the sake of ease and time. However, don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten letter. Though not as common, a handwritten and mailed note shows that a lot of thought was put into your efforts.
  2. Handwritten letters should include a header section that lists the date, the donor or organization’s name, the name of the scholarship award, and the full address of the donor. Be sure to properly address the envelope as well.
  3. Address your donor. Typically this will be the individuals who were your point of contact during the scholarship process or simply the organization’s name.
  4. In the first paragraph, state the purpose of your letter. This will be something along the lines of thanking your donor for the scholarship. Be sure to write clearly, succinctly, and with sincerity throughout.
  5. In the second paragraph, share a little bit more about yourself, your education plans, and how you’ll use the scholarship money.
  6. In the third paragraph, end the letter by thanking your donor again. Make a commitment to make your donor proud with the hard work you’ll put into your education.
  7. Close with an appropriate farewell.
  8. For handwritten letters, include your name and address at the bottom of your note.
  9. Double check for typos and grammatical errors. Write out contractions and avoid slang. Sometimes it’s helpful to have another set of eyes, so ask a family member, friend, teacher, or guidance counselor to review your letter before you send the final version.

Now that your thank-you letter is ready to go, send it out with the knowledge that you’re fostering a professional connection that could last a lifetime. Educational attainment is a long, difficult journey, so it only helps to add another member to your team of mentors and supporters.

Sample Scholarship Thank-You Letter

March 1, 2019

OppU Achievers Scholarship
One Prudential Plaza
130 E Randolph St. Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60601

Dear OppUniversity,

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for selecting me for your OppU Achievers Scholarship. I was thrilled to learn that I was selected as the recipient this round for your $2,500 quarterly scholarship.

I am a college sophomore majoring in personal finance with an emphasis on education. I plan to use my degree to pursue a career in financial literacy education in my hometown as a way to give back to the community that raised me. This work is important to me because of the lack of financial resources typically available to people from my community. My expected graduation date is 2021, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue pursuing my financial passions by becoming personal finance certified afterwards. Thanks to your generous support, I am even closer to my goals.

By awarding me the OppU Achievers Scholarship, you have alleviated my financial burden and allowed me to focus more on my studies and less on earning extra money with a part-time job. I truly appreciate your support and would like you to know that my scholarship money will go directly towards my tuition and textbook expenses. Your generosity has inspired me to give back to my own community. I hope that one day I will be able to help students in my hometown achieve their education dreams, as well, by sponsoring them with a scholarship fund and through important financial education guidance.

OppU Recipient

OppU Recipient
123 Scholarship Lane
Chicago, IL 60601

Let us know if you sent a thank-you letter for your scholarship awards by telling us on Twitter at @OppUniversity.

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