Writing a Scholarship Thank You Letter: How to Properly Show Gratitude 
Sending a thank you note is a good way to show gratitude. In this guide, we discuss how to write a thank you letter for a scholarship you’ve been selected for.
If you’ve gone through the entire process of applying for scholarships and trying to find other ways to secure funding for your education, chances are you know just how busy things can get. Between juggling deadlines, asking former teachers and mentors for recommendation letters, and writing one essay after another, it can be challenging to find time for much else. However, if you’ve managed to secure a scholarship, there’s still one thing you need to do — pen a scholarship appreciation letter.
Writing thoughtful thank you notes for scholarship donors is a great way to show your gratitude for the generous gift you are about to receive. But what exactly goes into a scholarship thank you note?
In this guide, we look into how to write a thank you letter for a scholarship. We’ll go through the process step by step, discuss what your note should contain, and give you a few more tips to get you ready to send your letters. Let’s get right to it!
Is It Necessary to Write a Thank You Letter for Scholarships?
Donors are typically generous people who give what they can to support the education and futures of students just like you. These donors give out of the kindness of their hearts, often with no expectation of receiving anything in return.
That said, writing a thank you letter is not absolutely necessary. However, writing a well-thought-out letter is generally considered good etiquette. Some scholarship donors may hope for a thank you note, as these letters typically inform them of the positive impact their donations have made.
A thank you letter does exactly what you may think — it shows gratitude for the gift you’ve received. This reason alone is enough to make receiving a thank you note special for the donors. A thoughtful thank you letter outlining how impactful the scholarship is to your future educational and career plans can also help remind donors exactly why they give to such funds, to begin with. Often, your thank you note can help renew a donor’s intent to donate for future students’ education.
So while writing a thank you letter for your scholarship isn’t always needed, it’s almost always recommended to send one anyway.
Editor’s Note: It’s important to note that there are some colleges and universities that do require you to send thank you letters to the people and organizations from whom you received your scholarship. Always ensure you check whether you are required to do so, as these requirements often also come with deadlines.
Does a Thank You Letter Need to Be Handwritten?
One thing you may be wondering is whether a thank you note for a scholarship needs to be handwritten. After all, a lot of advice on the internet says that handwritten letters feel more thoughtful and genuine. In a way, that is true — handwritten letters do feel as though there is more of a personal touch to them. However, that doesn’t mean that typed or emailed letters are out.
Although handwritten notes are nice, some people do not mind and may even prefer to receive typed letters in their email inboxes. The main reason behind this is the fact that a thank you scholarship letter received via email is much easier to share with others.
Additionally, correspondence through email can encourage further communication, which can be beneficial for both parties. Students may be able to receive the scholarship again or find themselves with future career opportunities, while donors and organizations get to learn more about the impact the scholarship has made on the recipient’s life.
Do note that some schools and scholarship organizations may have specific guidelines for thank you notes. Always confirm if there are any guidelines prior to sending your letter.
How to Write a Thank You Letter for a Scholarship: Steps
Some scholarship organizations and universities provide guidelines for writing your thank you notes. However, such guides are not always available, so we’ve put one together.
Nothing beats a step-by-step guide when it comes to learning how to do something, so let’s take a look at the steps for writing a thank you letter below:
1. Opening Section
In the opening section, you’ll usually find the date and the person(s) or organizations to whom you are addressing your letter. If your scholarship is through your university, you may also end up addressing the letter to them. It’s common to see opening sections like the below:
[Mr./Mrs./Ms. First and Last Name or Organization Name]
[Your Scholarship’s Name]
Dear [Donor or Organization’s Name]
[Your Scholarship’s Name Organization or Donor]
Your University Office of Financial Aid
Your university’s full address
Dear [Donor or Organization’s Name]
2. First Paragraph
In your first paragraph, state the intent of your letter and show your gratitude. Write in your own voice in a sincere tone. Mention your scholarship’s name but avoid directly mentioning money in amounts, and definitely do not ask for more financial support. You can state how you felt when you found out you were selected for the scholarship.
3. Second Paragraph
In the second paragraph, you can tell the donors a bit more about yourself. Tell them what you’re studying, where you’re earning your degree (if the scholarship isn’t tied to your school), when your goal to graduate is, and what you intend to do after you graduate. Demonstrate what impact the scholarship will make on your education.
If one paragraph isn’t enough for this section, you can add another. However, it is important to remain succinct when writing your letter.
4. Wrap-up Paragraph
In your final paragraph, thank your donor(s) once more and write a short sentence summarizing the impact the scholarship will make. You can mention how you intend to give back or pay it forward in the future if you wish.
5. Signing Off
When signing off, you might want to use a complimentary close such as “sincerely” or “respectfully”. On the next line, add your signature. Write your name underneath your signed name.
You can also include your contact details, such as your address, email, and phone number, if you’d like. Some donors or organizations may get or keep in touch with you throughout your education. Sometimes, continued correspondence can help you secure the scholarship for another year or find career opportunities when you graduate.
Tips for Writing an Effective Thank You Letter
We’ve looked through how to write a thank you note for a scholarship step by step, but there are still a few tips that may help:
- Make sure to proofread! Before you send your letter, ensure that it is free of typos and grammatical errors.
- Aim for a warm and courteous tone. Although sincerity is the best policy, it may also benefit you to keep your letter’s tone warm, courteous, and kind.
- Show enthusiasm, not overconfidence.
- If you choose to send a handwritten letter, use high-quality paper. Aim for something within 80-100GSM and choose a plain or very lightly patterned design. Use dark-colored ink (black is recommended). Also, put some thought into your choice of envelope.
- If sending a typed letter, format properly. Use easy-to-read fonts and font sizes. Avoid using images, brightly colored text, and word art. Keep your letter relatively formal.
- Keep your letter short but sweet. Don’t write a novel — keep your letter between two to four paragraphs. Try to get straight to the point.
Scholarship Thank You Letter Template and Sample
In this section, we’ll take a look at a scholarship thank you letter sample and break it down into a template, which you can find here. Although this isn’t a strict guideline on how your letter should look, you can pattern your thank you note upon the sample below.
Before you write your letter, make sure you know your college’s name, address, and the specific scholarship organization or donor to thank. Use that information to fill in some of the blanks in the template.
August 14, 2022
[Your Scholarship’s Name] Donor
Your University Office of Financial Aid
Your university’s full address
Dear [Your Scholarship’s Name] Donor,
First paragraph: State the letter’s purpose.
I am writing to send my gratitude as a recipient of your generous [Your Scholarship’s name] scholarship. I was thrilled to find out I was selected to receive this honor. I deeply appreciate your much-needed support.
Second paragraph: Share some information about you, your educational and career goals, and how the scholarship can help you.
I am a junior at [Your University] studying education with the hopes of becoming a teacher. I aim to graduate by 2024 and begin my career as an early childhood educator. The financial aid provided by [Your Scholarship’s name] scholarship is a huge help that will allow me to pay for some of my educational expenses. With less stress surrounding the funding of my education, I can now focus more of my time and energy on my studies.
Final paragraph: Thank your donors again and wrap up.
Once again, I would like to give my sincere thanks for your kind support and generosity. With your gift, I intend to work very hard to graduate on time so that I may give back to others as soon as I can.
Use a complimentary close such as “sincerely” or “respectfully.” More information on complimentary close options can be found here.
You may also choose to include your address and contact details such as your e-mail address or phone number.
To see the template, click here to view our PDF guide on how to write a scholarship thank you letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a scholarship thank you letter?
There’s no real guideline for how long a letter of appreciation for a scholarship should be. However, it’s a good idea to keep your letter short and sweet — around maybe two to three paragraphs. Be as sincere as possible while getting straight to the point.
Should scholarship thank you notes be handwritten?
Not necessarily. Handwritten letters tend to feel a bit more personal and sincere, but typed and emailed letters have their advantages. It generally comes down to personal preference, though you may also want to check if your school or the organization awarding your scholarship has any guidelines.
How do you end a thank you letter?
When ending the thank you letter for your scholarship award, always wrap up by thanking your donor(s) again. You may also want to write a short but to-the-point sentence about your future goals and how impactful the scholarship will be to your education. Finally, sign off with a complimentary close, your signature, and your name.
Conclusion: Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
Now that you’ve learned how to write a thank you letter for a scholarship, it’s time to start actually composing those thank you notes. However, you might want to remember to follow up again perhaps a year later. You can send a follow-up letter to update donors with any news regarding your education. Sometimes, you may even be able to politely ask whether your award can be renewed for the coming year.
In the end, the best tip we can give you is to write a short but sweet letter informing donors of your gratitude and the impact of their donation. Remember to be as sincere as possible!