How to apply

Scholarship Email Etiquette: Eight helpful tips

Email is an efficient and effective form of communication. But there is a right way and a wrong way to send emails. These email etiquette tips will help you do it the right way.
Write your e-mails properly
Write your e-mails properly

1. Use proper grammar and avoid tech-speak

Your emails should always be professional. This means using proper grammar and avoiding tech-speak, such as abbreviated words. Also, do not use emoticons if you want your email to leave a good impression.

2. Always use the subject line

Create a clear and descriptive subject for your email that explains to your reader what the email is about. Subject lines such as "Hello" are not sufficient. An example of a good subject line is: "Application for the XY-scholarship".

3. Use a professional email address

You should use a professionally designed email address. Typically this will take the form firstname.lastname@emailprovider. You should avoid using personal email addresses that feature the name of your pet, or something equally inappropriate.

4. Use plain sentences

Examiners receive a lot of scholarship applications so they need to get through each one quickly. You can help them by using short and concise sentences. Avoid fillers and hyperbole, and get straight to the point. And always stay on-topic.

5. Avoid mistakes

Spelling and grammar mistakes do not leave a good impression so read your email carefully before you send it. And get a friend to read it too as they will spot things that you might miss.

6. Find your contact person

Where possible, address your email to an individual and use their name. This means avoiding "Dear Sir or Madam" whenever you can, although sometimes it will be unavoidable.

When you are using a person’s name, make sure you spell it correctly. This shows respect and common courtesy.

7. Avoid stupid questions

Do not ask stupid questions in your email. These are questions that you can find the answers to if you look at the organisation’s website. If you ask questions like this you run the risk of appearing sloppy or uninterested.

8. Use a professional design

Structure your email into logical paragraphs, and type your text directly in the email, instead of using attachments. Also you should avoid using colour or fancy fonts – simple black text is always best.

If you are nominated for a scholarship after applying via mail make sure to prepare yourself for the personal interview or a group discussion.