Scholarship Thank-You Letters

An important act after receiving a financial award (scholarship, fellowship, honor, etc.) is to express your gratitude through a thank you letter to the donor. These people are generous individuals who unselfishly gave to support the educational endeavors of students like you. A thank you letter lets them personally know the scholarship is making a difference and is appreciated. Furthermore, your letter reminds them why they gave in the first place and often helps to secure continuing gifts for future students.

We therefore request that you personally reach out to say “thank you” and tell your donor about yourself. They want to know who you are, how their gift is helping you earn your degree, and what you plan to do with it. 

Information on how to send the thank you letter is below, along with guidelines and suggestions on formatting your letter. Upon receipt of your letter, it will be forwarded to the donor and/or family.

Sometimes we quote passages from letters for publicity (print and web use). Only your first name, class and degree will be used. If you wish to be excluded, you will have the option to omit yourself when uploading your letter.

Questions? Please contact the College of Media Advancement Office at (217) 244-5466 or Colleen Hammel at

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Type your letter in Word and include date, salutation, body, and closing. You will be required to upload a scan (or picture) of your signature, which is to be written three times in black pen on a white piece of paper. Click here for an example.
  • There is no need to create your own letterhead.
  • Keep it to one page and ask someone else to proofread it; pay careful attention to grammar.
  • Address your letter to the appropriate donor or group in the salutation and please include the scholarship name in the body of the letter
    • You will find information on whom to address your letter in your scholarship notification letter.

Content Suggestions:

  • Be sincere and share personal information including academic/personal goals, your major, class level, campus activities, your hometown, why you chose Illinois and other information as it relates to the specifics of the scholarship.
  • Explain with enthusiasm how this scholarship will help you achieve your goals.
  • Thank your donor at the beginning and the end of your letter.
  • If you are receiving a renewable scholarship, you will be asked to send a letter each year. From year-to-year, consider updating the donor about your academic progress. This allows the donor to see how you are growing as a student and as a future media professional.
  • Do not include award amount or imply they personally awarded you the scholarship; donors have no authority on who receives a scholarship. Rather, thank them for providing this important scholarship.

If there are issues with the letter, it may be returned to you to be rewritten.

Upload your letter and signature here.

For further assistance, please review the sample letters below. Or, you may wish to read the following articles on writing a thank you letter: