Our goal is to keep our donors engaged in the activities their generosity promotes. For that reason, you are required to write a brief acknowledgement to the donors or their representatives of the endowment from which your scholarship originates.
In many cases, but not always, these are financial donors. If your letter recipient is not a financial donor, there will be a note under his/her address on your scholarship award letter to explain his/her relationship to the scholarship fund.
School of Architecture scholarship recipients are held to a high standard for thank-you letters. Letters are reviewed for content and adherence to the university writing guidelines. The Graduate Admissions and Scholarship Coordinator may return your letter(s) and ask you to resubmit if corrections need to be made.
Scholarship funds will not be released unless you turn in thank-you letters that meet these expectations.
Thank-you letter guidelines:
- Letters must be typed and signed.
- Use nice stationery/resume paper (do not use a card).
- Typically, these letters are about 1 page (2-3 paragraphs) in length. See the sample thank-you letter as an example.
- Proof your work! It is important to present yourself, and the school, well. Check for grammatical and spelling errors before you turn in your letters. If we find any errors in grammar or content, your letter(s) will be returned to you for revision.
- You are not writing to the person who selected you for this award, so do not write, "Thank you for choosing me for this scholarship."
- Include the full name of your scholarshp in your letter(s).
- Determine whether you are writing to a donor or representative and convey your thanks appropriately.
- You may thank a donor for their generosity and for supporting the School of Architecture and its students.
- When thanking the honoree who the scholarship is named for, it might be appropriate to say something like “I’m honored to receive the scholarship created in your name.” When thanking the honoree's family, it becomes "I'm honored to receive the scholarship created in his/her name."
- Include information about your academics. You may also include information about your career goals, activities, organizations, or leadership roles. The donors provided this money because they support UT Austin, UTSOA, and our students. They love to hear how this scholarship will help you.
- Be professional, but be yourself. Use your own voice and words when writing your letter. If you try to sound like someone else or use fancy words that aren't in your usual vocabulary, the end result is an awkward-sounding letter that the reader most likely won't understand. Just be yourself at your best.
- Keep in mind that you don't know your audience, so use humor and wit cautiously and with a critical eye. We encourage you to write with personality, but the written word is much more literal than the spoken word and these techniques can be easily misinterpreted and could lead a letter recipient to think that you aren't being genuine. When crafting your letter, remember that you are writing for a professional audience. If you're not sure about a particular phrase, err on the side of caution.
Submit your letter(s) and stamped, addressed, and unsealed envelope(s) to the Graduate Office in SUT 2.130 or mail to the Graduate Admissions and Scholarship Coordinator. Do not mail the letter(s) to the address on your award letter.