In order for your counselor to get you a letter of recommendation that is detailed and beneficial to your application process, please fill out the letter of recommendation form by clicking here. Give your counselor at least 2 week to write your letter. Also, come and see your counselor, so that they get to know more about you and what you are looking to do after high school.
If colleges request letters of recommendation from teachers, print the form, attach a stamped envelope for each letter needed, and give to the teacher at least 2 weeks before the deadline. For the teacher's use, the student may want to attach the letter of recommendation form similar to what they give the counselor. Teachers also write letters for multiple students, so be considerate of their time.
Below, we offer you tips for securing quality letters of recommendation:
• Once you know that you will need a letter of recommendation, fill out a “Letter of Recommendation Request” form (these are located in the Counseling office or by clicking on the link above). It is important that you fill this form out honestly and completely. Once you have completed the form you can make an appointment with your counselor or teacher to submit it.
• Give recommender at least 2 weeks notice (more is preferred). It takes a lot of time for someone to write you a good quality letter (and, remember, that the individual you asked to write the letter also has a full-time teaching/counseling job). Letters written on last minute notice can be detrimental to your application.
• Provide the recommender with deadlines for each recommendation so that there is no confusion as to when the letter is due. This also helps your recommender organize his or her time appropriately.
• On the application form, we suggest that you waive your right to view recommendation letters. This gives more credibility to the recommendation in the eyes of the college.
• Ask your recommender in person to write your letter – not by email, not by just dropping off the form, and not by phone. This is especially important now that more and more applications are going online and students have the opportunity to just input their recommenders name and email address, and then the recommendation form is sent directly via email. Students need to let the recommender know that this email is coming (before the recommender receives it!).
• Provide recommender with addressed, stamped envelopes if letters are to be mailed.
• Who to ask? Check first to see what the college/scholarship committee is requesting. They will often be specific about who they want to see letters from (i.e. 1 counselor, 1 academic teacher, 1 additional). Ask the people who know you best!
• How many to submit? Again, check first to see how many are required. Follow the wishes of the college/scholarship; do not inundate them with more than they ask for (1 extra is sometimes ok, but not 2 or more).
• Thank the recommender after the letter is completed (hand written thank you’s are very nice).
• Follow-up with the recommender and let him/her know the outcome of your application (did you get accepted to the college, did you get the scholarship?).