Don't Forget to Say Thank You

The people that donate the money for college scholarships are people just like you. Well, perhaps they have more money than you but otherwise they are pretty similar. Like most people, they appreciate gratitude. They enjoy hearing from students that the money received was important and facilitated the pursuing of college dreams.

In the paragraphs that follow we will examine the importance of the thank you letter in the college scholarship process. Tips and pointers will be offered that will help you make the most of this correspondence.

BE ENTHUSIASTIC BUT SINCERE. The people you are writing to gave you money. Let them know how much you appreciate it. Don't be afraid to gush but be sincere. Don't say things that aren't true. The scholarship process may seem impersonal but there are actual people behind the money you received. Your job is to connect to that humanity.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROOFREADING. Spelling, grammatical and syntactical errors in this type of correspondence stand out a mile. Write the letter, set it aside for a day or so then go back and read it again. Also, get someone else to proofread it in addition to yourself – an instructor, friend, your parents, whoever is available. Another pair of eyes can make all the difference in ferreting out mistakes. If you are hand writing a response, consider this first copy a draft until you are sure all the mistakes have been corrected.

DON'T SETTLE FOR E-MAIL. The whole point of this activity is to express your sincere gratitude to the people of the organization that gave you money. Do not ruin it by dashing off some throw away electronic message. Nothing says 'I don't really mean it' like an e-mail. A hand-written note, on the other hand, suggests that you are a gracious and grateful individual, a worthy recipient of much-needed aid. Typing the letter is also an option. People with sloppy handwriting may want to consider typing particularly if the handwriting in question is sloppy enough to prove a distraction.

WHAT TO INCLUDE. Vital information that must appear in this type of letter includes your college, your major and your educational and vocational goals. You should also mention the hurdles you have had to overcome to get where you are. In addition, make sure to mention the name of the scholarship in case the person you are writing to provides money to more than one cause. Feel free to also include any information that seems germane to you.

A well-written thank you letter is a joy to receive. It supplies the punctuation at the end of the scholarship sentence. It is the rainbow at the end of the scholarship thunder-burst. It will serve as a reminder to you that no person is an island, that we are all connected. And it will come as a welcomed piece of correspondence to your benefactor, assuring them that they are doing a good thing. So, get out there and start thanking!