LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
In the process of completing your college applications or scholarship applications, you may be required to submit letters of recommendation. The recommendation may be requested in the form of a personal letter, however, a pre-printed Recommendation Form could also be provided. Please be sure you know which type of recommendation is needed. Once you have that determined, the following guidelines will help you in this process.
1. Who should I ask to write a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for me?
► LORs are usually written by adults who know you well and can attest to the quality of your work and character. In selecting a teacher to write a LOR for you, consider your academic strengths and the academic area you plan to choose as a major. For example, if you plan to major in the health field it would be natural to have a science or math teacher write a LOR for you. If you plan to enroll in the building trades program, it would make sense to have the teacher of that program write a LOR for you.
►Sometimes you are asked to select an adult that is not currently your teacher. Remember the adult/teacher who sponsors a club you are actively involved in or a coach. You could also ask an adult who is an employer, youth group leader, or community club leader.
2. How do I ask a person to write a LOR for me? When you need to ask someone to write you a LOR, the two best rules to remember are (1) to be appreciative and (2) to be prepared.
►Be Appreciative. First, ask the person if they would be available to write a letter for you. Be polite and considerate of the persons time they are doing you the favor. The person writing you the letter also has other work responsibilities to attend to, yet wants to give you a positive letter. Give the person plenty of time to prepare at least two weeks is recommended.
►Be Prepared. Know if the application requires a personal letter or a Recommendation Form and provide the correct information to the person. If it is a personal letter, than you need to give the writer the name and address information. In other words, who is to receive your LOR and where is it to be mailed.
Provide a stamped, pre-addressed envelope as well if not already provided in the colleges or scholarships application packet.
If it is a Recommendation Form that needs completed, please be sure to fill in your personal information as a courtesy to the LOR writer.
►Also, provide the writer with information about you that can be included in the letter or form. Yes, they most likely know most things about you, but every letter writer wants to be accurate and by giving them a resume of your activities you are helping them to write you the best LOR. Provide them with your school and community activities, athletic involvement, awards, honors, and your intended major in college.
3. The Recommendation Form to waive or not to waive?
►Most recommendation forms will ask if you waive the right to see the completed form. This is a personal decision, however, if you have asked the right person than you should not have any concerns in waiving that right.
4. What else should I do?
► If you plan to submit LORs throughout your senior year, than let the writer know that so they will be prepared if you ask them again at a later date. Most teachers will save your initial LOR and update as needed.
►If a Recommendation Form for your college application is to be completed by the School Counselor it will be completed and mailed with your application/official high school transcripts. If applying on-line, please be sure to download or print the form and bring it to the Guidance Office.
►Remember to write a thank-you note. If you are accepted at the college or receive the scholarship this is great information to share as well.