Letters of recommendation are one of the critical requirements during or after an application process and it assists reviewers in learning more about an applicant’s growth, achievement, and accomplishments from someone else. It is more like an endorsement letter written by a third party to bolster the chances of an applicant. Recommendation letters are brief, formal statements that should highlight positive qualities and explain why the candidate will be successful in college studies.
Recommendations from teachers, guidance counselors, and others help the admission committee learn things about you that test scores and grades don’t reflect. The number and type of recommendations you need vary from college to college. Usually, you will need recommendations from your guidance counselor and at least one teacher.
Many colleges require recommendation letters from applicants. But even if recommendations are not a strict necessity, they can help to build the case for admission.
These letters matter for what they say, but they also add some default value to an application just for being included. Even if the admissions committee does not carefully read recommendation letters, they are likely to note that they were included with the application and that the applicant is the kind of person who can drum up recommendations – a positive quality all its own
If you need another recommendation, ask an adult you respect (not a family member), such as a coach, a work supervisor, or a clergyperson. Also, some scholarships require recommendations as well. Check to see if your college requires letters of recommendation—not all colleges do. Here are some tips for getting great recommendations:
- Give teachers, counselors, or others plenty of time to complete the recommendation forms.
- Select teachers with whom you have a good relationship and in whose classes you performed well. If a teacher hesitates to give you a recommendation, ask another teacher.
- If you do not know your guidance counselor well, make an appointment with him or her to discuss your plans. This way, she or he will know more about you when it’s time to write your recommendation.
- Don’t hesitate to ask a teacher or other recommender to include specific projects, awards or honors you have received in their letter.
- Send a thank you card to people who write your recommendations, letting them know you appreciate their help.
- Sometimes the recommender returns the letter to you, and you must mail it with your application. In other cases, the recommender mails the letter. If this is the case, you should provide the recommender with a stamped envelope that is addressed to the college (or scholarship program)
Free College Recommendation Letter Template