Tips for Requesting a College Recommendation Letter

Chinemerem Opaigbeogu, Staff Reporter

What’s the best way to ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation? Who should you ask? When is the right time to ask? These are all questions that are in students minds as they are in their junior and senior year of high school.
Letters of recommendations are an essential part of the application process even though not all colleges require one. One of the important things to do is to ask the person you are requesting a letter from in advance.
“Give people time to write a letter of recommendation. A minimum of two weeks in advance is a good amount of time,” said Mrs. Linda Aarons, Instructional Coordinator.
“A way I would advise students to deal with deadlines is to have good time management and not to ask at the last minute” said Mrs. Maxine Mosely, Counselor.
Another important thing to do is to ask in person. You also need to provide them with a resume. The resume should include the basics like volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, and community service. You should also look at how you behaved in their class. If you behaved well in a certain person’s class, they are a better candidate and more likely to write you a positive letter than someone you had problems with.
“Your character is something people look at when they consider writing you a letter of recommendation.” said Mrs. Aarons.
You can’t keep a copy for yourself if your counselor writes a letter for you, but if a teacher writes you one you should keep a copy for yourself. The letter should be sealed and another alternative instead of mailing a written one is for it to be sent electronically directly to the college. If an option you should save a copy of your letter in case you need it later on for something else. You can also reuse a letter if it is general but if it’s specific the recommender can go back and change it to fit your purpose.