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The 7 Thank You Notes You Need to Write After Getting Into College

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

Why?

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.

Sincerely,
(Your Name Here)

2. Your College Admissions Counselor

Why?

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.

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

3. Recommendation Writers

Why?

These are the people who took the time to write an extensive letter suggesting why you should be accepted into college. Recs are a crucial part of your college applications and should be acknowledged as such!

What To Say

Dear (insert name here),

Thank you so much for writing my recommendation letter! I really appreciate all the time you took out of your daily schedule to complete this for me. I wanted to let you know that I’ll be attending (X College/University)! Thank you again.

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

4. The Person Who Read Your Essay

Why?

The essay is typically the one part of your application where you can freely express yourself, which is why it’s so important to get it right. It’s crucial to thank this person for all the time he or she spent reading and editing your work.

What To Say

Dear (insert name here),

Thank you so much for helping me with my personal statement. I felt confident sending my final version out to colleges, and I could not have done this without you. I wanted to let you know that I’ll be attending (X College/University) next year! Thanks again!

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

5. Colleges That Deferred or Waitlisted You

Why?

If you’re in the position of being deferred or waitlisted, don’t fret! You still have the chance of getting into the school. This school not only went over your application, but also kept you in consideration. Plus, who knows? Maybe showing your appreciation could boost your chances of getting in!

What To Say

In this instance, thank the college for considering you. Don’t be afraid to show your disappointment of not being accepted, but make sure to mention how you’re still grateful that you’re being kept under consideration. If this is one of your top schools, mention that, too!

Dear (College/University Admissions Office/Officer),

Thank you so much for taking the time to look over my application. Though I am disappointed about not being accepted into your school, I’m extremely grateful to be kept under consideration, as (X College/University) is still one of my top choices.

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

Keep in mind that some schools will file these notes along with your application for review. If this is the case, update your school on any recent accomplishments, such as making the honor roll, receiving a community service award, or landing an internship.

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6. & 7. The Colleges That Accepted You

Why?

These schools not only took the time to read your applications, but also believed you would be a fantastic fit to their campus in the upcoming fall. Even though you won’t be attending these schools, you should still thank them for accepting you into their class of incoming freshmen.

What To Say

For the college you’ll be attending:

Dear (College Admissions Office/Officer),

Thank you so much for accepting me into your school. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got the acceptance package, and I am happy to accept your offer. Thank you again, and see you in the fall!

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

For the colleges you turned down:

Dear (College Admissions Office/Officer),

Thank you so much for accepting me into your school. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got the acceptance packet! Unfortunately, I will not be able to accept your offer, as I will be attending (X College/University) next year. Thank you again for your generous offer.

Sincerely,
(Your name here)

Delivering The Note


Options include leaving it on the recipient’s desk, delivering it in person, or mailing it if you have his or her address. Delivery should be some time towards the end of the school year or as soon as you’ve decided which school you’ll be attending. For colleges, make sure you send out an email or a letter promptly after making your decision.

Good Luck!

Good luck on your thank you note writing endeavors, and congratulations on heading off to college in the fall!
 

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