Congratulations, you’ve won a scholarship! The scholarship provider chose you out of hundred or thousands of applicants. You have or will be receiving the scholarship money to help you pay for your college education. However, once the scholarship check has been received, should you stay in touch with the scholarship provider? The quick answer to this is, “yes.” But, why and how should you stay in touch? Below are four reasons to stay in touch with the scholarship providers, as well as some ways to stay in touch.
1. Scholarship Provider Requires Staying in Touch
Instead of sending the full scholarship to your school, the scholarship provider may choose to send it in increments. One reason scholarship providers choose to do this is to ensure you are staying within their eligibility guidelines. Therefore, you must stay in touch so you will continue receiving the scholarship money you won. If this is required, the scholarship provider will provide the specific information they will need from you to stay within eligibility. Make sure you follow their instructions to ensure you continue receiving your scholarship.
2. Nice and Professional Thing to Do
Professional etiquette tells us that we should be polite and show appreciation to others. If someone has helped with your education, including providing a scholarship to help you pay for your college education, the professional thing to do is to say ‘thank you.’
3. They Will Remember You Fondly
If the scholarship provider is somehow related to what you want to do in the future, you may want to consider reaching out to see if they have other opportunities. The scholarship provider may have an internship or job opportunity that you might want to consider. You have already proven to be someone they like based on your scholarship application. Sending updates to the scholarship provider along the way will show them that you are a nice and professional person. This behavior may give you an advantage when it comes time to offer the position to someone.
4. Scholarship Provider Might Help In Other Ways
If the scholarship provider has another scholarship opportunity in the future, they may let me know. You might also be offered a mentorship opportunity or the chance to serve on their scholarship committee in the future. Someone who has been chosen for their scholarship and has continued proving their professional behavior may be the first person they want to contact when new opportunities open up.
How To Stay In Touch With Scholarship Providers
Staying in touch with the scholarship provider does not need to be extravagant. While an email is convenient, I always suggest sending a hand-written note or letter. An email is easy to send, but a handwritten note shows you took some time to really think about your communication. The note should be sent to the scholarship committee or chairperson and then they may share it with others in the organization.
The first communication should come after receiving the scholarship. You were selected to win the scholarship over others. Send a thank you note to thank the committee for choosing you. This will reiterate to the committee that they chose the right person for the scholarship.
Most scholarship providers truly want to help students achieve their dream of obtaining a college education. Give them an update after the end of your first year to share some of the accomplishments you achieved during the year. Achievements you may want to share may include a stellar grade point average, a research project, or an internship opportunity. Thank the scholarship provider for taking a chance on you and share with that because of their scholarship you are able to focus on your education. You may also want to update them again in the future to share your graduation, job offers, and/or graduate school acceptance.
You can share as much or as little as you want with the scholarship provider. However, make sure you stay in touch with the scholarship provider. Scholarship providers, especially smaller organizations and companies, will appreciate your communication. In addition, your appreciation may also encourage the scholarship provider to continue offering the scholarship to other students just like you!