Teacher Recommendation Letters
Recommendation letters are a time consuming process requiring a great deal of thought and time. As you begin to narrow down the list of schools where you will be applying, it is important to determine if you are going to need a recommendation letter from a teacher (or two). Many of the Ohio schools - Ohio University, BGSU, Kent State, etc. do NOT require teacher recommendations.
If you are applying to schools that need teacher recommendation letters, you will want to carefully consider which teachers are in the best position to write a letter on your behalf. A teacher who can speak to your involvement as a student in class and your qualities as a person would be ideal. It is very helpful and beneficial to the teachers if you can give them as much time as possible and at least 30 days to write your recommendation letters. When you ask the teacher, you should provide them with information that can help as they write your letter. The Teacher Recommendation Request Form is 2 pages long and should be completed fully when seeking a teacher recommendation letter.
Counselor Recommendation Letters
Many colleges (typically including colleges that utilize the Common Application) require a counselor recommendation letter as a component of the student's application. As soon as you determine that you are applying to a school which will require a counselor recommendation letter, please notify your counselor as letters are written for students in the order that the information is received. At least 30 days advance notice is necessary in order to insure that your recommendation letter is completed on time. In addition to talking with your counselor about your recommendation letter needs, two forms will need to be provided to your counselor.
- The Counselor Recommendation Supplement Form should be completed by the student.
- The Parent Brag Sheet Form should be completed by the student's parent or guardian.
- Bring these two completed forms to your counselor along with a list of the colleges which require recommendation letters and their application deadlines.
Rec Letters FAQ's
The best way to ask a teacher is simply to state that you enjoyed being in his or her class and would like to know if they would be willing to write a letter on your behalf. Provide them with the “Teacher Recommendation Request.” Be sure to complete both sides of the form. You should also give them any teacher evaluation forms required by the college, along with an envelope for each letter.
While it is your option, our suggestion is to answer "yes." It indicates to the college admissions committe that you trust your recommenders and they will feel that they are getting the real story of who you are from your recommender.
Teachers have to decline requests for countless reasons. Some teachers get approached by many students and will not have time to write quality letters for all of them. Some teachers may believe another teacher who knows you better could write a more accurate letter. Whatever the situation, don’t be offended -- just ask another teacher.
If the school you’re applying to requires a counselor recommendation, you will want to let your counselor know as soon as possible. Again, as with teacher recommendation letters, at least 30 days before the due date is requested.
It is appropriate to approach teachers any time from the end of your junior year to the beginning of your senior year to see if they would feel comfortable writing on your behalf. If they do, you will want to provide them with the form from the college & envelopes as soon as possible. Give this to the teacher at least one month before the letter is due.
You will want to ask a teacher who knows you well as a student and can give examples of your academic abilities, work ethic, class participation and character.
Tip of Etiquette: It takes a lot of time and thought to write letters of recommendation. Let your teacher know you appreciate their efforts in a quick thank you note.