Before sending Award Letters in Smart Aid, the school must first create at least one budget, run the budget, enter financial aid awards, and finalize the budget. Once these prerequisite steps are complete an Award Letter or Denial Letter can be created. For information regarding how to create and send a Denial Letter, click here.

To create an Award Letter Template:
  1. Hover over “Awards” in the gray navigation banner and click “Letters.”
  2. Click on the blue, “Upload School Logo” button in the upper right side of the page and follow the directions to upload your school logo. The logo will be visible on the letters that are created.
  3. Click the “Award Letters” tab found in the upper left side of the page.
  4. Click on green “Create New Award Letter” button in the upper right.
  5. Enter text into the “Template Name” field.
  6. Enter text into the “Subject” field. This will be the displayed in the subject line of the emails that parents receive, should the letters be sent electronically.
  7. Scroll below the “Subject” field to find the body of the template. Smart Aid will provide a default template to start with.
  8. When creating the body of the letter, use the buttons in the left side of the Award Letter Editor to automatically pull in corresponding data. The merge buttons include:
  • PG – 1 First Name (Parent/Guardian)
  • PG – 1 Last Name (Parent/Guardian)
  • PG – 2 First Name (Parent/Guardian)
  • PG – 2 Last Name (Parent/Guardian)
  • Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • Student First Name
  • Student Last Name
  • Award Year
  • Grade
  • Tuition
  • Need
  • Student Contribution
  • Award Total
  • Award Detail (the names of the finalized budgets where the award amounts are coming from)
  1. Once finished creating the body of the Award Letter, click the green, “Save” button found in the upper left side of the Template Editor, above the merge fields. The newly saved Award Letter Template will now appear in the list that expands after clicking the blue, “Available Award Letters” button.

To send the letter:
  1. Click the “Run” (arrow) button in the upper left side of the Template Editor, found above the merge fields.
  2. In the pop-up window, select the finalized budget(s) to connect to the letter and award with.
  3. In the pop-up window, a list of students will appear who have received an award of at least $1 in the selected finalized budget(s). Checkoff each student who is to be sent an award letter. Please be advised that the list of awarded students may be longer than one page.
  4. In the pop-up window, after selecting students to receive the letter, choose either the “Electronic” or “Printed” methods to send the letter.
    1. If choosing Printed:
      1. Indicate if the family should also receive notification on their SmartAidForParents.com account with the checkoff for “Would you also like to send notification to your families’ Smart aid Application Communication Center?”
      2. Indicate if the letter history is to be updated with the checkoff for “Update letter history.” This will create a copy of the letter to be viewed on each recipient’s Family Detail Page (Smart Aid best practice).
      3. Click “Preview.”
      4. If satisfied with the letter, click “Ok” and the printed PDF version will be created and available in the list below the template editor. Alternatively, the PDF can be downloaded from the Preview Window.
      5. To view and print the letters click the green view button on the far right.
    2. If choosing Electronic:
      1. Determine if you would like to send the letter now or schedule it for later. If choosing to schedule, enter the appropriate date.
      2. Indicate if the letter history is to be updated with the checkoff for “Update letter history.” This will create a copy of the letter to be viewed on each recipient’s Family Detail Page (Smart Aid best practice).
      3. Click “Preview,” if satisfied with the letter, click “Ok;” PLEASE NOTE BY CLICKING “OK” YOU WILL SEND THE LETTER. If you want to make changes to the template, click “Cancel.”
  5. A green pop up will appear in the lower right corner of the screen indicating the successful send.

The school can view a cumulative list of all the Award Letters that were sent during the session year under the “Award Letter History.” This is located on the Award Letter Page, or beneath the Award Letter Template Editor.

If the school changes the awards within the budget, finalizes again, and sends letters again, the letters will go out to all families including those who have already received a letter. To make awards and send letters in several batches, Smart Aid recommends creating multiple budgets for each school year.