Writing Scholarship Thank-you Letters

Congratulations - You have been awarded a scholarship! Now it is time to say "thank you."

Scholarships awarded through the University of Illinois University Academic Programs and Services office are privately-funded and made possible by thoughtful people giving generously to invest in the future of students like you. One of the best things we can do in return is to thank them.

Hearing from students like you is special and meaningful to your benefactor. Sending a personalized thank you letter tells the donor that this scholarship is important to you and that their gift is appreciated.

You were chosen from among many applicants to receive this scholarship because of your qualities and abilities. A well-written letter reflects favorably on you, on the University, and on the committee who selected you.

Some tips about writing your letter

What to say in a thank you letter

Scholarship donors wish to know the students who are recipients of their scholarship gift and the impact of that support. Your thank you letter should be unique to you, but the following list contains some suggestions for what you might include:

  • Use a formal salutation with appropriate titles. Do not use first names. If you do not have this information, please address your letter to “Dear Scholarship Donor”.
  • Begin by introducing yourself and thanking the donor. Mention the specific scholarship and academic year for which it was received but not the amount.
  • Tell something about yourself. Provide a brief background that may include your hometown, family background, what led you to pursue your degree program at the University of Illinois, and your career goals.
  • Explain how this scholarship will benefit you.
  • Say “thank you” once again.
  • Sign your letter.

Multi-year/renewable scholarships

The donor will have received your past letters. This letter should be an update, including such information as classes you have taken and insight into your progress. Although it can be appropriate to remind the donor of your degree program or future plans, you should not repeat everything from prior letters.

How to get your letter to the donor

Please forward your printed or electronic letter to our office at:
University Academic Programs and Services
Attn: Becky White, Scholarship Coordination
807 S. Wright St., Suite 370
370 Illini Union Bookstore, MC-323
Champaign, IL 61820

Or through email to: USPScholarships@uillinois.edu

Some sample thank letters

These letters are provided as examples that you may use as guides. Please do not simply copy these examples.

Thank you example letter for incoming freshman

[Donor's Full Name]
c/o University Academic Programs and Services
Attn: Becky White, Scholarship Coordination
807 S. Wright St., Suite 370
370 Illini Union Bookstore, MC-323
Champaign, IL 61820

[Date (Example format: May 1, 2018)]

Dear [Donor Name],

--Begin by explaining why you are sending the letter and thanking the donor. Be sure to include the name of the scholarship.
I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for make the [Name of Scholarship] possible. I was pleased to be selected as a recipient for 2017-2018 and am deeply grateful for your support.

--Share something about yourself, your goals, and why the scholarship is important to you.--
Beginning this coming fall, I will be a freshman at UIC [or UIUC or UIS] in the Urban Education program in the College of Education. Besides my parents, the one person that I feel most influenced me as I was growing up was my sixth grade teacher. After graduation, I would like to find a teaching position where I have a chance to make a similar difference in the lives of children.

--Conclude by thanking the donor again and re-stating your hopes for the future.--
My educational pursuits would not be possible without the generous support from your scholarship. Thank you for enabling me to pursue my dreams.

With gratitude,
[Signature]
[Your Name]
University of Illinois at [Urbana-Champaign, Chicago or Springfield], Class of 20XX

Thank you upon graduation (for multi-year scholarship)

[Donor's Full Name]
c/o University Academic Programs and Services
Attn: Becky White, Scholarship Coordination
807 S. Wright St., Suite 370
370 Illini Union Bookstore, MC-323
Champaign, IL 61820

[Date (Example format: May 1, 2018)]

Dear [Donor Name],

I am sincerely honored to have been selected as a recipient of the [Name of Scholarship]. Thanks to your generosity, it has been possible for me to [explain how receiving this scholarship has impacted your college experience].

As I complete my education at the University of Illinois at [Urbana-Champaign, Chicago or Springfield], I am very thankful for the support you made possible. Because of your considerate gift, [explain how receiving this scholarship will positively impact your future].

Thank you again for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Sincerely,
[Signature]
[Your Name]
University of Illinois at [Urbana-Champaign, Chicago or Springfield], Class of 20[XX]

Other resources for example letters:

UIUC College of Media Sample Letter