Top Tips to Get the Best College Recommendation Letter

Recommendation letters are an intimidating ask for most college applicants. If you don’t know where to begin, take a look at these top tips to get the best college recommendation letters ever.

Be Selective

Did you excel or improve in certain areas? Seek out teachers who taught classes you did particularly well in, or classes that helped to expand your thinking. Recommendation letters not only focus on your strengths but also areas of improvement. Showing the admissions board that you were able to grow can really make you stand out.

Provide Details

Your teachers do their best to note your progress and achievements as a student, but you might want to help them out with other important facts about you that might make your recommendation letters for college stand out even more. Provide teachers with your resume so that they comment on a particular achievement that attests to your candidacy.

How To Ask

Visit your chosen teachers during their specific office hours. This is a time that is deliberately set aside for students to speak with their teachers individually. Approach the subject by showing your teacher appreciation first, so you don’t immediately make a request and come off as entitled or self-absorbed. Tell your teacher how much you enjoyed learning from them and ask then ask if they would mind writing you a college recommendation letter. You don’t need to be a teacher’s pet but making an effort to be polite goes a long way.

How Many College Recommendation Letters?

The more letters, the merrier. Try to get as many college recommendation letters as you can. You’ll be able to go through and select the letters that describe you best, and you’ll be able to provide potential schools with more reasons to consider you.

Be Confident

If it seems like students are lining up to get recommendation letters, don’t let the crowd scare you off. You are just as valued as any other student and deserve to get the letters you want, even if that means some teachers become very busy. It is part of their job to support your continued growth as you move on to college. It is okay to expect a lot from your teacher but be mindful that they have a lot of letters to write in addition to their usual coursework. If it’s taking a while to hear back about a letter, offer a gentle reminder to your teacher so that they remember without feeling overwhelmed.

Offer Insight

Is there something important you think should be mentioned in your recommendation letter? Don’t be shy and tell your teachers that you would appreciate it if they mentioned whatever it is you want in the letter. This way, your teacher has the ability to write in their own words their take on the matter, and you get the security of knowing that they will include all the bells and whistles you need for an excellent college recommendation letter.