LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Click Here to download Letter of Recommendation Form
Surprisingly enough, one of the most important parts of your college application isn’t written by you: The letter of recommendation. Follow these tips to get great letters of recommendation.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Start early. Give your recommenders enough time to write thoughtful and articulate letters. Late fall is a good time to start identifying the people you want to recommend you.
Set up appointments as soon as possible to speak with them about your application. Give at least three weeks advance notice. Do not assume the letter will be completed if you leave the request in their mailbox; make sure you make a personal contact.
WHO TO ASK
Choose adults who know you well. Teachers are great for providing insight into your academic achievements. Don’t pick a teacher just because you got an A in his or her class. It’s important that the teacher or counselor knows you personally.
Consider people who can write about your other talents and abilities: employers, coaches, clergy and community leaders. Don’t ask family members, their comments won’t be as credible.
If your recommender seems hesitant or too busy, ask someone else. Pick someone who can address the award’s special criteria or particular interests. For example, the director of the homeless shelter you volunteer at would be a great reference for an award sponsored by a community service group.
WHAT THEY NEED
Your correct contact information (your full name as it appears on the application, address, email and phone number).
Two copies of any forms they need to fill out (for a ‘rough draft’ and a ‘final draft’).
Detailed instructions on how the letter should be handled, along with the correct name and address of the college or university or scholarship sponsoring organization, deadline information and a copy of your completed application and essay. If you’re asking for letters for more than one organization, be sure to provide each organization’s information.
Information about your achievements such as your transcripts, a list of extracurricular activities and reminders of your past work with the recommender (e.g. a description of coursework, a copy of an essay or class project, etc.)
Include stamped and addressed envelopes.
Your recommenders are doing you a favor. Show them you appreciate their time and efforts by being polite.
Be considerate of their time. Give them plenty of time to write the letter and let them know about the deadline in advance. If you think your recommender might have forgotten about your letter, prompt their memory by asking if they need more information.
Once your letter is submitted, follow up by sending your recommender a thank-you note.
Fill out the letter of recommendation form to give to teachers, mentors or counselors whom you wish to write you a letter of recommendation. Filling out this form gives your recommend-er some insight into your qualities, goals and aspirations that he or she might not already know about. A Letter of Recommendation is an essential piece of your college application. Teachers and counselors take pride in writing the best letter possible for their students.
Download here! Letter of Recommendation Form
Remember to give your letter writer 2 to 3 weeks to complete your letter.