Are You Properly Prepared When Asking for Letters of Recommendation?

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Are You Properly Prepared When Asking for Letters of Recommendation?

Updated for 2020 and the Constraints of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Most college applications require two teacher recommendations. It is important to ask two teachers who know you well to write this letter. Preferably, the teachers you choose will be ones who taught you during your junior year. Usually, when asking a teacher for a recommendation, it is best to ask IN PERSON and at the beginning of the school year. Since many high schools will open the school year online, EMAIL your preferred teachers with your request. Many teachers will commit to writing a specific number of recommendation letters, and when that number is reached, they will not accept more requests. Follow-up with a thank you email.

If your high school is one of the many that uses Naviance to help with college applications, the supporting information needed by the teachers will be through Naviance. To help the recommender get to know you better, complete these sections:

  1. Resumé – Naviance provides a simple format to follow.  Fill out each section that pertains to you.
  2. The list of colleges to which you will be applying.
  3. The dates the applications are due. THIS INFORMATION IS CRITICAL. PROVIDE IT AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
  4. Grade point average from your unofficial transcript.
  5. Any other information your recommender may request.

If your high school does NOT use Naviance, the counseling department will have a list of questions you need to complete. Your high school guidance counselor can advise you where to find the information on your high school website.

It is essential to meet with your teachers online and express appreciation for their help. Also, it would be best if you shared how you are available to answer questions or to help at any time. Please provide your phone number and email address to each recommender.

Lastly, students requesting a letter of recommendation from an employer, supervisor, coach, or another responsible adult should follow the same process as described above.

If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at www.Prep4CollegeNow.com or call me at 760.877.7200. I’d love to answer your questions!

Andrea K. Frimmer, M. Ed.
Prep 4 College Now, Inc.

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