College Admissions: Getting the Best Teacher Recommendations

Teacher recommendations are important for college admissions because they give a picture of a student in an academic setting. Students should make sure to ask a teacher who teaches in the core classes: English, science, math, social studies, or foreign language. Many colleges like to have two teacher recommendations, each from a different subject area.  Do not send more unless you are asked to do so.

Students should not wait until their senior year to request teacher recommendations. Teachers get busy in the fall and the more recommendations they have to do, the less time they will have to spend on them. Meet with two teachers before the end of your junior year and talk about what you would like them to know about you.   Provide them with a list of your interests and accomplishments that they can include in the recommendation if they wish.  Make sure the teachers know about you both inside and outside of the classroom and what they feel you can bring to a college campus.

As colleges and universities continue to receive increasing numbers of applicants each year, the need to stand out from the competition is also increasing. When a teacher writes a personal recommendation it can show a college a lot more than just academic information.  It can attest to your character, motivation, and leadership abilities.  Teacher recommendations might be that piece of information that distinguishes you from other applicants as colleges make admissions decisions.

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