How to Write a Scholarship Thank You Letter

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Your ship just came in with a boatload of money for your education. You got a scholarship!

Your outstanding academic performance and work ethic are being recognized. You are an exemplary student and a role model for others. This means you have the maturity and wisdom to write a scholarship thank you letter too.

Keep in mind that writing a scholarship thank you letter is a way to both acknowledge the generosity of your donor and to demonstrate your professionalism, good manners, and effective communication skills. If it is done well, it may be useful to your career networking. Your well-written letter also reflects positively on EMS, and it is likely to encourage further support for you and other students. It's in your best interest to take some time to do this well!

Although each thank you note should be written individually with consideration of the specific audience, there is a general format or "recipe" that you can use.
 
In the first paragraph,
Begin by letting your donor know the purpose of your letter. Make sure to include the name of the scholarship and the semester(s) for which you will be receiving it. 
Example 1: Thank you for (name of scholarship) that I have been awarded for Spring Semester 2013.
Example 2: I am honored to be a recipient of the (name of scholarship) for the 2013 academic year.

In the second paragraph,

Let the donor know something about you and reassure him/her that the funds are being used wisely. Conciseness is important in any communication, but this second paragraph needs to be adequately developed.  Think of one or two key ideas and give specific support for each of your points.
Example 1: Write about what you are studying and how helpful this scholarship is toward your achieving your educational objectives. You might refer to a few capstone projects or classes that were instrumental in your academic growth. Mention how you are developing particular skills (e.g., analytical, communication, leadership, time management, problem solving) and technical knowledge within your field.
Example 2: Write about work, internships, activities, or other professional aspects of your college career. Include information about your future plans and how this scholarship will enable you to focus on reaching these objectives. You may comment on your financial need, but keep the tone of the letter formal.

In the third paragraph,
Close with a final thank you that expresses your gratitude.  
Example 1: I sincerely appreciate this scholarship. I will make sure to do well in school, so someday I will be able to help others as you have helped me.
Example 2: Thank you for making this scholarship possible and for your continued generosity toward the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.  Because of your help, I will now be able to concentrate more fully on my coursework.

General TIPS
•    Proofread carefully. Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
•    Type your letter following a standard letter format.
•    Don't forget to sign your letter.
 

If you have questions or need additional assistance, I can help. Send me an email (kdb9@psu.edu), and I'll set aside some time to guide you through this process.

Photo credit: http://coastalanglermag.biz/blog/2012/03/01/22nd-annual-list-of-top-ten-boat-names/

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