This video will help you, and whomever you approach for a letter of recommendation, to understand the impact of recommendations on your overall college application. The overarching goal of a great letter of recommendation is to tell a story about the student.

Important to Note:

  • Colleges are looking for how a student ‘fits’ into their institution by helping admissions officers to better understand the student.
  • Letters of recommendation provide a context for more fully understanding a student’s application
  • Focus of Teacher Recommendation: Tell a story about the student and their performance and engagement in class and within the high school.
  • Focus of Counselor Recommendation: Provide a context of the school, community, available opportunities, and how the student maximized available opportunities.
  • Intangibles: Teamwork; what student will bring to the college community; how the student engaged in their studies; how the student participated in, and what the student brought to, the classroom experience; the student’s social maturity, passion for learning, and intellectual curiosity. Challenges the student has faced and obstacles the student has overcome. What makes the student stands out?
  • The recommendation should be personalized about the student and does not have to suggest that the student is the ‘best’ student, but should reaffirm that the student is a ‘good’ person and would be a good ‘fit’ for the college or scholarship.