Letters of Recommendation
Many colleges will require at least one letter of recommendation. With an increasing number of colleges going test optional, the letter of recommendation is another piece to give admissions a more holistic and richer sense of who you are as an applicant.
Whom Should I Ask?
Core subject area teachers usually make good candidates, however you can ask any school staff member. Colleges generally prefer recommendations that speak to your academic abilities. Recommendations from employers, coaches, faith leaders, or neighbors may be useful in terms of scholarship applications, but these types of recommendations are not academic. Make sure the person writing the recommendation knows you personally and is able to communicate your strengths. Please be considerate: school staff are happy to provide you with letters of recommendation, and it is important that you ask in person if possible.
When Should I Ask?
Make sure you give your recommendation writers plenty of time (at least one month before letters are due) as they may be writing for multiple students. Some colleges and the Common Application require you to send an email request to your recommendation writer. In this case, please inform that person that they will receive an email link where they can submit the letter directly.
How To Get the Best Results
Talk to your recommendation writers. Remind them of your accomplishments and let them in on your future plans (a resume or portfolio would be helpful). The best letters include specific examples and stories rather than vague praise. Give them an understanding of why you are applying and possibly what your intended major is.
Make sure your recommendation writers have everything they need to write your letters and submit them on time:
● Deadline information
● Completed Senior Profile (Clicking that will prompt you to make a copy which you can then share with your recommender(s))
● A copy of your complete essays/personal statement
● Name(s) of specific college/university that requires a letter of recommendation
Helpful Tips for You
Be polite! People are usually happy to help you with recommendations if you ask politely and give them enough advance notice.
Do NOT ask family or close relatives for letter
On the application form, waive your right to view the recommendation letters
Make sure your recommendation writer knows your deadline/s. Follow up with that person after a few weeks to make sure they are aware of your deadline
Write thank you notes to your recommendation writers, and later, tell them where you’ve decided to go to college.
Here, again, is a link to the Senior Profile. As it is a GoogleDoc, simply make a copy to fill out, which you can then share with your recommender(s).