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Thank You Letter Tips

Scholarship Search Home | Scholarship Application Tips | Scholarship Types | Writing a Thank You

Tips in helping you write your thoughtful, professional thank-you letter.

Be Genuine

Perhaps the single most important thing to remember when writing thank you notes is to be genuine. A sincere, personal note of thanks is actually quite rare. Therefore, a well-written, true expression of gratitude can make you more memorable. The person you are thanking might be able to help you network for employment someday!


Your letter should be a message of thanks from you as an individual to another individual. If your letter sounds like it could have been written by anyone to anyone for any scholarship, then it will be perceived much like a "limp hand-shake". Giving a little bit of personal background (where you are from, etc), academic status (major, class year), involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles you hold on campus and co-op or cadet shipping experience is a great way to show the donor that you deserve their generosity. Be sure you state WHAT you are thankful for - name the scholarship.

Typed vs. Handwritten

Traditionally, the thank you note has been handwritten. If your handwriting is good, it can contribute to personalizing your correspondence. However, if your handwriting is poor, typing the correspondence is perfectly acceptable. Remember, if you type the letter you still need to sign it by hand.

Paper & Envelopes

Thank you note cards with matching envelopes are appropriate for use as long as you stick to a simple card without cute graphics and sayings. Plain paper is fine. You might want to add the MMA logo just for an added touch.


Once you are satisfied with your letter have someone else proof read it for content and errors prior to mailing. First impressions are lasting impressions! If you send a poorly written note, there is no taking it back! Be sure to include your name and address on the outside of the envelope, as well as, in the note itself. Maybe you will make such a great impression that the donor will want to contact you as your future employer!

These are just a few ideas that might help you in writing your thank you letter to the donor of your scholarship:

  • Take a moment to think about yourself and your professional and academic aspirations.
  • Salutation; make sure you spell the donors name correctly and use the appropriate salutation (see sample letter).
  • Refer to the scholarship by its name as shown in your award letter.
  • The body of the letter should tell the donor about yourself:
    • where you are from
    • year of study (junior, graduate, etc.)
    • your major
    • why you chose Maine Maritime
    • your academic accomplishments
    • any leadership roles, extracurricular activities, interests
    • professional affiliations
    • goals and future plans
    • how the scholarship has helped you
    • Do not mention the amount of your scholarship award.
  • Be sure your signature closes out the letter.
  • Proofread and edit carefully. Make sure it is grammatically correct and well organized; good grammar provides clarity. You are not only representing yourself, but Maine Maritime Academy as well.
  • Even though your software has spell check capabilities, it does not know the difference between "Dear Mrs. Bain" and "Dear Mrs. Brain".
  • When you have finished the letter, read it aloud. If it makes sense when you listen to yourself read it, it is probably fine.
  • Finally, remember what Mark Twain said: "I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." A well-written letter reflects well on you and the college. It is also very important to the person who funded your scholarship.
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