Teacher & Counselor Recommendations

Letters of Recommendations For Colleges and Scholarships

From day 1, make a good impression

Most four-year colleges will require one or two letters of recommendation from people who know you in and out of the classroom. Some schools or programs will require you to get a recommendation from a teacher of a specific subject area. Make sure you look at what each college is requesting.

WHO SHOULD YOU ASK?

The best choice is a teacher who not only knows your ability, but also knows you personally. If you are not sure if the teacher knows you personally, pick a teacher that you had where you were successful in the class. If you are not sure whom you should ask, see Mrs. Griffin. I will be able to work with you to make this process as easy as possible.

WHEN SHOULD I ASK?

EARLY! You should ask the person at least ONE month before you need the recommendation. I recommend you ask teachers for recommendations by early fall. Remember that this is additional work for teachers and you want to be sure they have plenty of time to write a thorough and thoughtful recommendation.

HOW SHOULD I ASK?

Start by making an appointment to see the teacher! Do not just catch her/him before/after class or in the hallway. You should explain that you are preparing to apply to college or scholarship and would like her/him to write you a recommendation. Many times a teacher will want to talk with you to get more information about why you are applying to the schools you have chosen. It would be helpful if you have an outline of your activities, clubs, sports, awards, community service, jobs, etc. to give them a better picture of your involvement in and outside of school.

It is also important for you to sign that you waive your right to view recommendation letters. Colleges look at recommendations that students have not or will not see as a more reliable assessment than those that the student can see. Also, colleges may not consider recommendations for students if they did not waive their right to see them.

AFTER THE TEACHER SAID YES, THEN WHAT?

Once a teacher agrees to write the letter you need to formally request the recommendation on the Common Application or SUNY application. This will allow your teacher to upload the information and submit it electronically to the colleges. Other colleges that you apply to individually may have a printable recommendation form to give to the teacher.

If you have any colleges/scholarships that will not accept information electronically, please tell him/her to give it to us so we can mail it directly to the college. If you are not sure if  they will accept electronic submissions, see Mrs. Griffin. If the recommendation does need to be mailed, it is usually put in and envelope with the teacher or counselors' name signed on the seal. This gives the letter more validity that it is a honest account of the students' performance.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT/ COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION

Most four-year colleges require a school counselor recommendation as part of a student's application. The information requested is similar to that requested on a Teacher Evaluation Form. However, a major difference between the two is that a teacher is asked to write about how the student performed in a class he/she taught, whereas the counselor is asked to give a more global evaluation of the applicant as a student and person.

INFORMATION NEEDED ON THE COMMON APPLICATION to invite me to complete the secondary school report, transcript, and counselor recommendation:

Counselor's Name: Kandis Griffin

Email: kgriffin@towschool.org

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