Have you just won a scholarship giving you the money you need to make college possible?
Though you have a lot to think about right now with university studies just around the corner, don’t forget to show your appreciation. Meaning, that you should send a sincere, heartfelt thank you letter for a scholarship, once earned.
Scholarships are truly life-changing gifts. If you’ve already applied for your scholarship, you’ll know how stressful the process is, especially when the result will shape your future. The relief that comes with receiving a college scholarship is so powerful that you need a whole afternoon lying down to recover!
But, how to write a thank you letter for a scholarship?
Let’s take the time now to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write the scholarship thank you letter they deserve.
Related Read: What Is a Scholarship and How Do Scholarships Work?
Example Thank You Letter for a Scholarship
Want to save time?
Here’s a sample thank you letter for a scholarship you can tweak and adjust to make your own!
[Your Full Name]
[Your Address, Line 2]
[Date of Writing]
Dear [Donor’s Name],
I am writing today to express to you my sincere appreciation for awarding me the [Scholarship Name] scholarship.
As a major in [Major Name] with a fondness for [Few Example Topics], this scholarship will go a long way to helping me realize and achieve my academic goals. With the financial burden [Lessened/Removed], I will be able to focus more fully on my university classes without the anxiety of wondering whether I’ll be able to afford it.
I want you to know that I will never forget your kindness and generosity to me, and I hope to make you [or Organization Name] proud through my studies and career path afterward.
How ’bout that?
Not so hard, was it? Now, read on to learn a bit more about how to write a thank you letter for scholarships.
Why Should You Write a Scholarship Thank You Letter?
The donors and committees who make scholarships possible have to make difficult decisions and be generous with their time and money. When you think about it, it’s quite incredible that scholarships exist at all.
It’s important to write a thank you letter to your scholarship donor because, fundamentally, it’s just good manners. They’ve given you a phenomenal gift in recognition of your hard work, and saying thank you is the polite thing to do.
Writing a thank you letter for your scholarship also gives back.
The act of giving can be very satisfying and when the donor reads about how happy they’ve made you, you’ll be giving them a powerful sense of enjoyment. Can you remember a time when you bought a friend a gift and couldn’t wait for them to open it? That feeling of making someone happy is part of the reason donors gift scholarships.
A final reason why writing a scholarship thank you letter is important is that it may encourage donors to keep donating in the future. When they can see how big an effect their donation has made, they know that they’re doing good in the world.
Should You Type or Handwrite Your Letter?
To type or not to type, that is the question. This is probably what Shakespeare was mulling over when he wrote Hamlet’s speech.
There is no right or wrong answer here and instead, you should weigh up a few pros and cons that can guide your choice.
Handwriting Your Letter
We hardly ever write and send handwritten letters anymore and so receiving one is extra special. Handwriting is usually more difficult than typing as it requires much more concentration to not make mistakes. It’s seen as more personal too, which can have a powerful effect on the receiver.
If you have neat, legible handwriting and are confident you can write your letter without mistakes (drafting separately can help), then it could be a great idea to handwrite your thank you letter.
- Hard to avoid errors
- Poor handwriting might make a bad impression
Typing Your Letter
Typing your letter takes the pressure off your handwriting and allows you to delete and rewrite sentences easily. If your handwriting isn’t great, you can avoid revealing it when you type!
Typing can also look professional and might be preferable if you have unprofessional handwriting. Of course, you should still always sign your typed letter by hand.
- Easy to edit
- Not as personal
What Should You Include?
Do you remember writing thank you notes as a kid after each birthday and Christmas? You’d sit there scratching your head because all you could think to write was, “thank you for my present”.
When it comes to writing thank you letters for scholarships, there are some top things to include. Once again, there’s no right and wrong answer, you’re not a robot! Your thank you letter will be unique but following guidelines makes it a lot easier.
We get to know people by learning about their backgrounds. This informs us about who they are and how they’ve got to where they are. You can show your appreciation to your scholarship donor by writing a couple of sentences about your background.
This might include where you grew up, if you’re the first person in your family to go to college, and other relevant things. They don’t need your life story, just a tiny snippet that shows them a little about you.
Your Choice to Go to College
Getting a scholarship is no easy thing and you’ll have worked hard to win one. That means you’re probably driven to succeed in your education and future career.
Explaining why you’ve decided to go to college and what you’ll be studying will show your donor how committed and grateful you are for the opportunity they’ve helped give you. You might speak about how you become interested in your chosen subject and how you hope to pursue your field throughout college.
How the Scholarship Will Help
The donor for your scholarship wants to know that you’ll use the money you receive wisely and that it’ll change your future for the better. A great way to show how this is to explain exactly how you hope the gift will help you.
You could describe how you’ll be using your time at college to pursue a particular mission, excel in your field so you can help others or anything else you feel is important.
When you note that it’s the scholarship that has made your aims possible, you’ll be showing that you understand the magnitude of receiving such a gift.
Your Career Aspirations
No one is expecting you to have a full life plan outlined or to be 100% sure which career you want to pursue. However, they will love to hear about your ideas, ambitions, and aspirations.
Every scholarship donor will remember what it was like to start college and how their careers evolved from what they’d initially thought. It’s far more important that you show you’ve considered your future and have interesting ideas than whether they’ll ever come to be. When you leave college, you’ll know much more about which direction you want to move in.
The Language You Should Use
You might still be in formal education but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a professional undertaking. You should write your scholarship thank you letter in formal language and with professionalism.
Always use the appropriate salutation for your donor, including their title and last name. This thank you letter isn’t a time for first names!
You should also introduce yourself and detail which scholarship you’ve been awarded. Some committees and donors will be awarding multiple scholarships so you should make it clear who you are.
While the letter should be formal, you can still show your personality and individual flair.
Do You Only Need to Send One Thank You Letter?
Thank you letters for scholarships aren’t mandatory but of course, it’s polite and professional to send one when you win your scholarship. There’s no rule that you should send any more either but in the future, you might want to send a follow up thank you letter.
This isn’t something you need to think about right now, but do make a note about your scholarship donor or committee for the future. When you finish college or perhaps even many years down the line, you might want to let your donor know how their gift changed your life.
Imagine being in their shoes for a moment. Imagine awarding a scholarship and then, ten years later, receiving a letter that outlines how that scholarship led to a series of amazing education and jobs. Perhaps you enabled someone to create a vaccine or start a charity.
No matter what your college education leads to, keep your donor in mind as you progress through college and into your career. You might like to thank them once more in the future. Now wouldn’t that make their day!
How to Write a Thank You Letter for a Scholarship
While it may feel daunting to have to write yet another letter, this is one you don’t want to skip. Knowing how to write a thank you letter for a scholarship will make you stand out and give the donor a rewarding feeling when they receive it.
You should write your scholarship thank you letter in a formal and professional style, with the right salutation. You can show your personality though and tell the donor a little bit about your background and why you chose to attend your college. Explaining how you plan on using the opportunity the scholarship will give you is a great way to show that you’re approaching your studies with care and consideration.
Above all, express your appreciation and thanks for such an amazing gift. Receiving a scholarship is a life-changing event and shows that the donor has noted your hard work. Congratulations on receiving your college scholarship, now it’s time to prepare for your studies!
College is a tough time financially so check out our article on saving money in college. Thanks for reading!