Courtesy, connection, and continuing in the scholarship process
Discover a few ideas for students after they are awarded a scholarship.
Receiving any type of scholarship is a great accomplishment for students pursing higher education. Higher education includes college, trade school or technical school after high school. Students apply for scholarships to help pay for their higher education. A scholarship is free money and it assists the student in paying for the costs higher education. Being awarded large amounts of scholarship money decreases the need to apply for a loan which must be paid back over a period of time. For some scholarships, the application process may consist of an application, an essay, transcripts, reference letters and an interview. Students can get the feeling that applying for a scholarship is like applying for a job. The financial need for a scholarship can be great and the process for applying for one can be a challenge. What if a student receives a scholarship? What should he or she do next? Michigan State University Extension has the following ideas:
- Express appreciation to the committee or organization by writing a thank-you letter. The Seven Steps to a Great Thank-You Note from Michigan 4-H Youth Development gives a student a good outline or format for writing a thank-you letter. College Scholarships.org states, “A properly worded, formal letter of thanks acknowledges the importance of the scholarship program itself, and the impact the donors’ generosity has had on the life of a young college student.”
- After writing a thank-you letter, a student can write a letter after each semester or quarter or school year to stay in contact with the organization that awarded the scholarship. The letter can consist of general information to let the committee or organization know how the semester, quarter, or school year was and also future plans relating to classes, majors, and careers.
- There is not a reason for the scholarship process to come to an end after high school graduation. Students can continue to seek other scholarship opportunities during enrollment in higher education. Depending where a student is attending school, there may be other scholarship opportunities that are awarded from the colleges, academic departments, or other organizations that are available for students while they’re in school. The student will also be familiar with the scholarship process from the experience of applying and being awarded a scholarship.
After a scholarship is received, it is important for a student to express an appreciation for the award and it can benefit the student to maintain contact with the committee or organization. Students should continue to pursue a level of high academic achievement and strive to do the things they did to receive the scholarship for college (especially if it was an achievement scholarship). As scholarship recipients, take the steps to practice courtesy, connection, and maintain excellence.