Most of the scholarships awarded to UMass Amherst students are privately funded by an alumnus, parent or friend of the University. To help thank the generous donors for these awards, we ask that students write a Thank You Letter.
One of the best gestures we can make to our scholarship donors is to thank them. A student’s letter reminds donors why they gave and helps encourage continuing gifts for future UMass Amherst students.
Students receiving a scholarship award were selected because of personal qualities and academic abilities which stood above other applicants. Sending a personalized thank you letter confirms that this scholarship was important enough to you to take the time to present yourself in a professional manner. The tips and sample letter provided below are to help you compose your own unique letter.
Scholarship Thank You Letter Guide
What should I say in the letter?
- Include information about yourself, your major, family, career goals, extra-curricular activities, community service and, especially, how the scholarship will assist/has assisted you in pursuing your studies at UMass Amherst.
Should I type/write/e-mail the letter?
- It does not matter. Do what is comfortable for you, but make sure your letter is neat and presentable.
How long should the letter be?
- You should write 2 or 3 solid paragraphs. There is no right or wrong length, but it should certainly be more than a few sentences. It is important to write in your own voice and to be sincere.
Where do I submit the letter?
- Follow submission instructions from your scholarship's awarding department OR
- You may receive instructions via email to your @umass.edu address to complete the thank you letter, and any scholarship acceptance requirements via Academic Works, the UMass Amherst Scholarship System.
- The donor profiles contained in the Academic Works system are for informational use only. Scholarships are administered by UMass Amherst staff; please do not attempt to contact donors directly. If you receive a scholarship, you will be able to send the donor(s) a thank you letter through the Academic Works system. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include your name, and if hand-writing, sign the letter.
- Be prompt in providing your letter. If you have been requested to submit your letter by a certain date, pay attention to the deadline.
- Remember to spell-check your letter.
- If the scholarship is a renewed award, please keep in mind the donor has received your previous letters. Please take that into consideration when writing subsequent thank you letters to include updated information about your UMass experience and accomplishments.
- Contact your awarding department for the scholarship donor name for your letter salutation. Often times, this can be found within your scholarship award information in the UMass Amherst Scholarship System.
Please click on the Sample Thank You Letters below for letters written by recent UMass Amherst scholarship recipients.
SAMPLE LETTER TEMPLATE
Dear (scholarship donor),
I would like to introduce myself as a recipient of the (Scholarship Name) Scholarship and to thank you for making it possible for me to receive this award.
Talking points for remainder of the letter:
- Your class level, your major, your hometown
- Your academic life, your experiences at UMass, your interests, and your goals
- What the scholarship has meant/will mean to you, your pursuits, and to your family
- The donor’s generosity
Additional information for first-year or entering students:
- As you do not yet have experience at UMass Amherst to comment on, include experiences about why you chose UMass
- Goals, interests, activities you hope to pursue at the University