Colleges want to see letters of recommendation from people who know you well. This helps them gain personal opinions about your character and abilities, and get a real sense of who you are. It’s something that test scores and grades just can’t show them.
To get the best letters of recommendation:
• Pick someone who’s in the know. Ask a high school counselor or teacher who knows you well.
• If possible, ask someone who also knows you outside the classroom. If your teacher is also your basketball coach or leads a club you belong to, they can share even more about you.
• Find someone who’s enthusiastic. You’ll want a letter from a person who’s rooting for you to succeed!
• Allow plenty of time. Writing a letter of recommendation is time-consuming, so be courteous and give the person several weeks’ time to write it.
• Make it easy. Give the person you’re asking clear instructions, including a stamped, addressed envelope to mail the letter in.
• Be polite. Ask if the person is comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for you.
• Be specific. Remind them of the work and achievements that you’re most proud of.
• Be gracious. Hand write a thank you letter immediately after the person sends the letter of recommendation to let them know how much you appreciate it.