READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
Letter of Recommendation Packets need to be completed by all students who would like their counselor to write a letter of recommendation for their college applications.
Remember that UC and CSU schools do not accept letters of recommendation and out-of-state public universities may or may not want or accept them. Most private schools want and require letters of recommendation.
We want to write the best possible letter for you, so please provide your counselor with thorough information. It’s best to fill out the form while on your computer so you can type it and not be constrained by space. If you choose to fill it out by hand, please be sure to write legibly. The more complete and detailed information you provide the better. Anecdotal information that provides specific examples is always appreciated. You can submit the form by paper or email.
Your counselor needs to receive this packet at least 20 working days (1 month) prior to the first application due date to complete a recommendation.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION TIPS
Ask your counselor and teachers for recommendations well in advance of deadlines; one month is a realistic period. Teachers and counselors devote considerable time to writing these letters. Choose teachers who know you well and who will write the most positive recommendation.
- Give a copy of your student profile or resumé to those who will be writing recommendations for you.
- If you are asking a person to write more than one recommendation, try to organize all the requests at one time even if the deadlines differ.
- Be sure to fill out the student part of the recommendation request form.
- Complete the FERPA section of the Common Application. We recommend all students waive their rights in this section.
- Most teachers and counselors prefer to submit their recommendations online. If paper forms are required, provide stamped envelopes addressed to each college’s office of admission.
- About one week before the recommendation is due, drop by to see the teacher or leave a note in his or her mailbox to ask if you could provide further information. This courteous inquiry acts as a gentle reminder of the deadline.
- It takes considerable time to write a recommendation. The person who writes it has taken a special interest in you and the success of your application. When you hear from colleges, be sure to tell the teachers and counselors where you were accepted and which school you will attend.
- Keep records of everything.
- Write thank-you notes to teachers, counselors and others who helped you.