Letters of Recommendation

College Admissions Support

Alice Lissarrague, College Admissions Support

Applying to college next year?

You will need letters of recommendation for college from your teachers. With the end of junior year fast approaching, now is the time to ask two teachers. Because colleges want a current picture of you as a student, ask teachers who have taught you this year. You will need a letter from a humanities teacher (social studies, English, foreign language) and a second from a math or science teacher. Ask those teachers who know you best, and who have witnessed your challenges and successes. If you are not sure who to ask, your school counselor or college consultant should be able to help you decide.

Don’t wait until fall to request letters of recommendation. If you wait, your first choice teachers might say no. Busy teachers often limit how many recommendations they will write. So ask now, and ask in person.

Once a teacher agrees to write your recommendation, follow up with a thank you email. Writing letters of recommendation is time-consuming, so appreciate your teacher! To jog the teacher’s memory of your best work, provide a copy of an assignment that demonstrates your achievement.

Colleges usually limit the number recommendations they will consider. However, most will accept up to three. Ask your coach, employer, performing/visual arts teacher, mentor or a community member for a recommendation. Because colleges are interested in well-rounded students, a third letter of recommendation helps them better understand who you are as person.

School counselors also write letters of recommendation for college for each student. You want your counselor to know who you are, so make an appointment to update your counselor on your college search, your extra-curricular activities, awards, interests and part-time job information. Your counselor might have an activities/interests form for you to fill out with those details.

Don’t procrastinate! Summer is coming! Ask for letters of recommendation for college now, before vacation, and you will start your senior year with less stress.