Guidelines for Requesting Letters of Recommendation
- Think about who knows you and can attest to the quality of your work. If you need a recommendation from a teacher, request one from a teacher in an academic subject who knows your strengths. That may be a teacher in whose class you've gotten top grades, but it could also be a teacher who knows how hard you've worked to get B's and C's.
- Make your request at least two weeks before the letter is due. Remember the person is doing you a favor.
- Provide the recommendation form from the college(s) with all student information completed. If there are no recommendation forms, then provide a photocopy of any information you have about the college or organization requesting the recommendation. Be sure to include the exact name of the organization or college and to whom the letter should be addressed. Note: you should waive the right to see the letter if given this option. Middle College staff will not write a letter of recommendation unless you waive the right to see it.
- Provide information about yourself (resume, self-assessment, parent questionnaire) and any other pertinent information to the writer to help him/her write the letter.
- Provide an up-to-date copy of your unofficial high school and college transcript.
- Place all of the above in a file folder or 9"x12" envelope. On the front, print your name, the list of colleges to which you are applying, and the due date for each letter. Letter writers may have the option to submit electronically or return the letter to you in a sealed envelope.
- Mark on your calendar the date you need to give a "friendly reminder" to the writer. (This should be about four days before the letter is due.)
- Important: After you have received the letter of recommendation, or the letter has been electronically submitted, send the writer a thank-you note. He/she will appreciate it, and chances are you will need to request another letter later in the year.
- If you receive the scholarship or are accepted to the college for which the letter was written, let the writer know.
- NEVER hand materials to the writer on the day before you need them!