Letters of Recommendation
From day 1, make a good impressionMost four-year colleges will require one or two letters of recommendation from people who know you in and out of the classroom. Some schools or programs will require you to get a recommendation from a teacher of a specific subject area. Make sure you look at what each college is requesting.
WHO SHOULD YOU ASK?
The best choice is a teacher who not only knows your ability, but also knows you personally. If you are not sure if the teacher knows you personally, pick a teacher that you had where you were successful in the class.
If you are not sure whom you should ask, see your counselor. Your counselor will be able to work with you to make this process as easy as possible.
WHEN SHOULD I ASK?
EARLY! You should ask the person at least ONE month before you need the recommendation. We recommend you ask teachers for recommendations by November 1st (or earlier for early admission programs). Remember that this is additional work for teachers and you want to be sure they have plenty of time to write a thorough and thoughtful recommendation.
HOW SHOULD I ASK?
Start by making an appointment to see the teacher! Do not just catch her/him before/after class or in the hallway. Many times a teacher will want to talk with you to get more information about why you are applying to the schools you have chosen. You should explain that you are preparing to apply to college and would like her/him to write you a recommendation.
It is also important for you to sign that you waive your right to view recommendation letters. Colleges look at recommendations that students have not or will not see as a more reliable assessment than those that the student can see. Also, colleges may not consider recommendations for students if they did not waive their right to see them.
AFTER THE TEACHER SAID YES, THEN WHAT?
Once a teacher agrees to write the letter, you need to formally request the recommendation in Naviance. This will allow your teacher to upload the information and submit it electronically to the colleges. If you have any colleges that will not accept information electronically, please provide him/her with addressed and stamped envelopes so the recommendation(s) can be mailed directly to the college. If you are not sure if a college will accept electronic submissions, see your counselor.