Getting a scholarship is an involved, competitive process. There are essays, supporting paperwork, proof of grades or eligibility, and other things that go into a successful scholarship application package.

If you’ve been awarded a scholarship, it means you’ve risen to the top of the pile and distinguished yourself. You can be proud of yourself and go off to school with your new award, right? Well, not quite yet. There’s one last thing you need to do—send a scholarship thank you letter to the organization or individual that awarded you the scholarship. They’ve decided to invest in your education, and they deserve to know their investment is appreciated. Lets take a look at how to write a scholarship thank you letter.

Qualities of a Good Scholarship Thank You Letter

Good thank you letters have a few things in common, regardless of what they’re being sent for, and scholarship thank you letters are no different.

  • It arrives promptly: You should send out your thank you letter right away upon being notified of the award. Ideally, the organization should receive it within a week or two. Put a reminder in your calendar or planner for each scholarship you apply for; that way if you’re awarded one, you won’t forget to thank them.
  • It’s free of mistakes: There is no faster way to make an organization regret offering you a scholarship if you cannot be bothered to proofread or edit your letter for errors before sending it. Since some scholarships are renewable each year you’re in school, you could be missing out on future money as well. Take the time to edit.
  • It’s original and sincere: While you might be tempted to simply grab some template material from the internet, don’t do it. It will have a highly negative effect, and will come across as fake and insincere—because it is.
  • It’s tailored to the organization that awarded you the letter: If you’ve received several scholarships, don’t be tempted to use one standard scholarship thank you letter for all of them. Take the time to write each organization a personalized note.

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What You Should Say in a Scholarship Thank You Letter

You’ll want to include some specific things in your letter, such as what you’re thanking them for. Some organizations do a lot of different things, or offer multiple types of scholarships. Make sure to refresh their memory on who you are and what they awarded you.

You should also include some details about you and what you’re using the money for. They already know you’re using it for college—after all, that’s what a scholarship is—but mention what you’re studying, or what you plan to do with your degree.

It’s also a nice touch to mention your commitment to your studies. The awarding organization will want to know they made the right choice in you; reassure them that they did.

Sending Thank You Letters for a Scholarship

You will also want to send a thank you to others who may have helped you get the scholarship, such as a guidance counselor or teacher who alerted you to the opportunity or helped with your application package. You should also consider thanking those who helped you get into college, such as a coach who spoke with an athletic department. You might be the student, but getting into college is often a team effort. Take the time to recognize the members of your team, and make sure they know you appreciate their help.