Criteria, amounts and application processes for scholarships vary depending on the scholarship.
Awards can be based on merit, financial need, program of study or other factors as determined by the donor.

  • Research and apply for as many scholarships as you can!
  • Don't let an essay or letter of recommendation requirement stop you
  • We recommend you complete the FAFSA, even if you don't think you will qualify for financial aid
  • Be aware of potential scholarship scams
  • Revisit scholarship search engines often and keep your information current
  • Read the application criteria carefully to be sure you are eligible to apply
  • Prepare, set aside ample time and complete the application thoroughly
  • Create a calendar of deadline dates
  • Communicate now with potential references
  • Prepare a statement of purpose, resume, or personal statement for potential references
  • Use a clear and professional e-mail address
  • You can use your essay for multiple applications, just make sure it is tailored to the application you are completing
  • Make sure to write a Thank You Note when you are awarded a scholarship (see below)
  • If you are awarded a scholarship, follow the guidelines for renewal, such as enrollment or GPA requirements
  • Most scholarships do not require repayment, although some may need to be repaid if the student does not follow the guidelines of the scholarship

How to Write a Thank You Letter

Scholarship donors are generous and caring people who unselfishly give to support the educational endeavors of students like you. They typically ask for nothing in return, but receiving a well-written thank you letter lets the donor know that his or her scholarship was greatly appreciated. Your letter reminds them why they gave in the first place and often helps secure continuing gifts for future students.

Review these tips and our sample thank you letter  to help you compose your own letter in a professional business format. Make sure your letter is free of both grammatical and spelling errors.

Thank you note tips

  1. Write clearly and concisely
  2. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors
  3. Be sincere
  4. Express enthusiasm
  5. Send in typewritten, business format
  6. Use quality paper