Letters of Recommendation
Most colleges require or suggest that you submit a few academic recommendations to supplement your application. READ THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH SCHOOL to which you are applying. You may send the same recommendation to each school, with the permission of the person writing your recommendation.
Whom should I ask to write my recommendations?
An academic teacher who knows you and your ability to do college level work, preferably a teacher you had in your junior year. Some colleges will require the recommendation from a particular academic discipline. In addition, some colleges may require that the recommender complete a recommendation form. Your counselor may also be asked to complete a letter of recommendation and/or recommendation form.
When should I ask for my recommendations?
You are advised to ask two to three teachers/counslor during the first term and to provide these individuals with the recommendation forms if required. Be sure your recommenders know all of the schools to which you are applying and ask for permission to send the recommendations to each institution. At a minimum, allow two weeks for the individual to complete the recommendation. If you are mailing a completed application package, your recommendations may be included in this package or your recommender may prefer to mail separately. If recommendations are to be mailed separately, you should supply a stamped, addressed envelope to the individuals writing your recommendations for each school.
What makes a good recommendation?
The person writing the recommendation should focus on your achievements in his/her class. How did you contribute to that class? What were your strong points? What were your weak points you were able to overcome? Specifics are better than generalities. The college is not interested in a recommendation that discusses your class rank and GPA. Also, your extracurricular activities are included in your application and do not need to be restated in a recommendation. The college is most interested in your potential to succeed and your preparedness to handle college level work.
Are my recommendations completed?
As your deadlines approach, check if your recommendations are ready to be included in your completed application package or if they are ready to be mailed. Deadlines are the students responsibility, not the teachers'/counselors' responsibility.
Once you have decided which college you will be attending, write thank-you notes to everyone who provided a recommendation and tell them where you have decided to go to college. Be sure to write these notes before you graduate.