Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

So, you’ve been awarded a scholarship. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Jump for joy and pat yourself on the back! You deserve it, kiddo!

Step 2: Find a professional yet cute thank you card. Or if you’re a guy, ask your mom to find you one.

Step 3: Read the rest of this article.

But seriously, congratulations! I know that scholarships can be very exciting in the moment but then fade into more of an abstract concept since the money is usually mailed straight to your university. It’s important to remember that someone out there just gave you hundreds or thousands of actual, real life dollars. They did so because they saw something in you and thought that investing in your future would be worthwhile. You have to admit, that’s pretty spectacular. So while you’re thinking about it and the excitement is still fresh, go ahead and take a moment to thank the kind soul that did such a crazy, fantastic, amazing thing just to help you out.

In addition to just generally being a polite and nice thing to do, sending a thank you note acknowledging the award is the kind of thing that people remember the next time they’re awarding the fund or deciding whether or not to renew it for a particular student. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

So, where to begin? For starters, make sure that the card you’ve picked is professional and tasteful. As funny as that card with the donkey butt on the front might seem in the store, this probably isn’t the right time to use it. Opt for something understated and neat. This doesn’t mean it can’t be cute like some of the examples on the right, but just don’t go crazy. Along the same lines, stick to traditional blue or black ink.

Begin the note with the date at the top and Dear GreatScholarshipNameHere,

Your first paragraph should state the purpose of the letter. For example: “I was incredibly excited and honored to hear that I was awarded the ReallyGreatScholarship! I am writing to thank you for your generous financial support of my educational efforts.”

Next, you’ll want to write a bit about yourself, your educational plans and goals, and why receiving the scholarship is important to you. For example, if I were writing about myself I would say: “In the fall I will be attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I plan to major in History and pursue a career in Higher Education Administration after graduation. Through this career, I hope to aid and inspire other students to receive a higher education as well.”

To close the letter, you’ll want to thank the donor again and ensure them that you will use their generosity well. For example:

“I want to thank you again for your incredible generosity. By awarding me Bestscholarshipever, you’ve allowed me to focus on my education and helped me take a step towards my future. I hope to one day be able to do for other students and help our community out as you have done for me.”

You should end your letter with a professional salutation such as “Sincerely,” and sign your name.

Short, sweet, and to the point. It should only take you five minutes to do but it will make a world of difference to someone out there who has invested in you.

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