Letters of Recommendation Information


Letters of Recommendation

  • Many schools require two letters of recommendation. Usually they can be from either two teachers or one principal and one teacher.
  • Teacher’s Recommendation: It is your responsibility to ask a teacher to write a letter

on your behalf. It is best to ask a teacher who knows you well.

Remember that teachers who teach seniors get a lot of requests for letters of recommendation. Not to mention, a really good, thorough letter of recommendation for college is time consuming to write. When teachers agree to write you a letter, they want to write elaborately and specifically about you, which takes lots of thought and care!

The absolute best way to ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation is face-to-face, in person. This ensures that your teacher actually receives your request, and that you have the time to discuss the specifics of due dates, your college choices, etc. Following that conversation in person, send an email to the teacher with all the information you discussed.

The best way to ask a teacher in person is to schedule an appointment with them or catch up with them during a free period so you have adequate time to discuss the request. Do not simply ask a teacher after class or in the hallway in passing.

Remember--teachers are busy people. Do not ask multiple teachers to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. Very often one teacher can write a letter and send copies to more than one school. (Many applications prefer that teachers submit their letters of recommendation online. Check with your teacher. If he or she prefers online then submit their email address to the college and they will be contacted directly by the school and instructed how to submit their letter of recommendation.


  • If your teacher prefers to mail a paper copy then:

Please furnish the teacher with all necessary forms, an addressed envelope and postage.

Write your name in pencil in the upper left hand corner of the envelope and inform the teacher of the application deadline.

  • Follow up with a thank-you letter to your teacher.
  • Always waive your FERPA Right to see your recommendation.



Not all colleges require letters of recommendation. Some schools just ask for a reference, some ask for letters of recommendation and some schools do not require either. Before you ask teachers to write a letter of recommendation, find out from your school if you actually need one.

Yeshiva University:

  • General Admission- References
  • Honors Program- 2 Letters of recommendation

Lander College:

  • General Admission- 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Honors- Make sure that your general admission letters of recommendation are marked for the Honors Program. You do not need to send in additional letter.