Letters of Recommendation

Most colleges will ask for two or three letters of recommendation. They should be written by someone who knows you well, and can best describe you and your accomplishments. Colleges want to learn something about you that your high school transcript can't tell them.

Here's how to start:

  • Narrow down to two or three people to write letters of recommendation for you. Ask someone who knows you well, understands your strengths, and will write about you in a positive light. This could be a teacher, counselor, pastor, coach, or employer. See if the colleges you are applying to specify who should write your letters.
  • Give your resume, highlighting your accomplishments, to those who agree. It will help them in their writing.
  • Allow enough time for your letters to be written. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least one month prior to the submission deadline. Make sure your references are aware of the deadline, and follow up a week or so before the deadline.
  • Meet with the individuals who are writing your letters to discuss your accomplishments, extracurricular activities, interests and plans for the future.
  • Once you've decided where you are attending college, write your references a thank you note.