Once college applications, financial aid forms, and scholarships are all filled out, the only things you want to do are kick back, relax, and re-read your well-earned acceptance letter. It can be so easy to forget the miracle-workers who were there every step of the way, guiding you towards higher education. But you didn't make it here all by yourself. So grab a pen and some stationery: it’s time to write some thank you notes!
How To Write Them
Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette columnist for The Ledger recommends writing by hand because the “personal touch will convey that you cared enough to take the time to sit down and think about that person.” She also believes that “e-mail is better than nothing at all,” but should be saved for “when the situation is informal.” For instance, you might use stationery for the people you know personally (e.g., guidance counselor, college counselor, recommendation writers, the person who read your personal statement) and for the college you’ll be attending. Write emails to the colleges that accepted, rejected, deferred, or waitlisted you.
Keeping your thank you short and sweet is essential. Etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts from The Huffington Post suggests, “Three sentences are perfectly acceptable. What’s important is content, not length.”
The Basics: Who, Why, and What You’ll Be Writing
1. Your Guidance Counselor
Whether you’ve consulted your counselor about college or life, he or she has always been there to support you. Whatever trials or tribulations you’ve been through, this person deserves a huge “thank you” for having your back.
What To Say
Dear (Insert Name Here),
I wanted to take the time to thank you for everything that you’ve done for me the past (insert amount of time). Your support has been greatly appreciated, especially during the college application process. I wanted to let you know that I’ll be attending (X College/University) and that I couldn’t have reached this decision without your guidance.
(Your Name Here)
2. Your College Admissions Counselor
From the simplest of questions (“What is the difference between early action and early decision?”) to the hardest of decisions (“Do I choose my dream college or the one that gave me the most financial aid?”), your college counselor was there to guide you towards your new school.
What To Say
Dear (insert name here),
Thank you so much for all your help throughout the college process. You answered all my questions, and your support was greatly appreciated. I wanted to let you know that I’ll be attending (X College/University) and couldn’t have made this decision without your help.
(Your name here)