Many scholarship recipients are asked to write a brief thank-you letter to the donors, honoree, or their representatives of the endowment from which your scholarship originates.
School of Architecture scholarship recipients are held to a high standard for thank-you letters. Recipients should email drafts of thank-you letters to the Graduate Admissions and Scholarship Coordinator before submitting final copies. 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. Typically, these letters are about 1 page (2-3 paragraphs) in length. See the sample thank-you letter as an example.
- 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."
- 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."
- When thanking a representative, you may express your thanks for the scholarship more generally: "I am thankful for this award and the support it will provide".
- Include the full name of your scholarship in your letter(s).
- 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.
- 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.
- Use nice stationery/resume paper (do not use a card).
After rough drafts have been approved, you may submit hard copies of your final letter(s) and stamped, addressed, and unsealed envelope(s) to the Graduate Office in SUT 2.130 or mail them to the Graduate Admissions and Scholarship Coordinator. Do not mail the letter(s) to the address on your award letter.