Tips for writing a letter of recommendation for college

Tiffany Post on November 10, College admissions season is upon us.

Tips for writing a letter of recommendation for college

Take our own fellowship program at the University of Arkansas, which includes the Honors College, Bodenhamer and Sturgis fellowships. The fellowship can combine with a scholarship from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for in-state students or the New Arkansas Non-Resident Tuition Award for out-of-state students, creating a substantial financial aid package.

When I started working for the Honors College almost ten years ago, we may have had around fellowship applications in a given year. Today, that number is over The value of the fellowship has gone up in that time, but we still only offer about 90 of the awards each year, meaning the competition has significantly increased.

I always tell them to read an earlier blog post, the Inside Scoop on Scholarship Applicationswhich provides some good tips. I also encourage students to attend an Honors College recruitment program like Convocation or Discovery Daywhere they can learn more about the process.

Yes, these letters matter — and yes, in many cases there is room for improvement. Going through my records, I can safely say I have read about 5, recommendation letters in my life.

Sure, these letters provide positive information about the applicant, but in too many instances, they add little to the application. With that in mind, I wanted to provide some elements we typically see in an effective letter of recommendation.

A caveat before reading these, though: These are far from firm guidelines, just some potential ideas for those who want to prepare an effective letter. John took my AP Chemistry course during his junior year.

He is an outstanding student, who maintained an A average throughout the year and even scored a 4 on the AP exam. At our high school, John has a 4. Outside of the classroom, John is incredibly involved in extracurricular activities. He has been a member of the varsity soccer team since his sophomore year.

John is also involved in Beta Club, and was elected president of the club during his junior year. He even finds time to do service on the side, volunteering at the local animal shelter and donating blood to the Red Cross.

tips for writing a letter of recommendation for college

I am always impressed that John is able to balance all of these activities with his rigorous course load. These skills can include: If the student has a wonderful sense of humor and is great at connecting with others, tell us.

Academic Recommendation Letter Examples and Writing Tips. Reference Letter Samples for a College Student. These are the Top Cover Letter Tips for College Students and Graduates. Types of Job Search Letters With Examples. Best Part-Time, Flex, and Online Jobs for Students. Academic Recommendation Letter Examples and Writing Tips. Here's a Sample Recommendation Letter for a College Student. These are the Top Cover Letter Tips for College Students and Graduates. Sample Reference Letter from a Teacher for a Student. Jan 26,  · How to Write a Letter of Recommendation. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Letters Writing the Letter Starting to Write Community Q&A Writing a letter of recommendation can be intimidating, especially because the person you’re writing it for is counting on you to pull through for them%().

If the student is just one of the best public speakers you have seen at that age, tell us. Too often, students lack the self-awareness to realize these impressive skills they have or they are too humble to describe them in an essay.

Realizing this, the letter of recommendation is a great place for us to learn more about the student as a living, breathing individual. We obviously want intelligent students who are prepared for the rigors of our curriculum, but we also want individuals who display some of the important skills and attributes that will allow them be successful within our campus community and beyond.

What he probably did not mention, though, is that the election process was hard fought between him and another worthy candidate who had similar accolades. The campaign was intense and the final vote was very close, with John winning by a very narrow margin.

John also scheduled a meeting with our school principal to discuss the situation, a sign of remarkable maturity for his age. He even went as far as appointing his former opponent to the student council cabinet, a move that is almost unprecedented at our school, especially after a hard-fought election.

Most students would not have gone to great lengths to help heal our school after an election. When it comes to the many high school students I have worked with over the 15 years of teaching, John best personifies what it means to be a true leader. As you can probably see in her application, Jane plans to major in political science, which makes me incredibly happy.

Too many of the students who take my AP U. These students often perform well enough in the course and on the final AP exam, but I often wonder what they got out of the course in the end other than three hours of college credit.

That was never the case with Jane. Each day, Jane came into my classroom excited to learn more about American politics. She was always the most involved in our class discussions, often referencing something she read in the New York Times or the Atlantic Monthly, neither of which was required reading.

Not surprisingly, her research paper on how the structure of the electoral college affects modern day presidential campaigns was one of the strongest papers a student of mine has ever produced. She even went to the trouble of citing peer-reviewed political science journals in her paper! I am excited to see what Jane can do as a political science major with an interest in law school.

She is one of the brightest students I have ever met, but more importantly, her passion for the subject is one that I know her professors in college will sincerely appreciate. Recommendation letters can provide context to help explain some of those deficiencies.

Sometimes, a student just had a bad semester for no really good reason.Jan 07,  · >> The College Board recommends that students give recommenders a self assessment so that the letter writers have the information they need to write a great letter.

The College Board also provides good information for your student to keep in mind when supplying colleges with letters of recommendation. A completed student information form or a résumé to supply more anecdotal information for the letter.

tips for writing a letter of recommendation for college

Print out the Recommendations: Student Self-Assessment and the College Questionnaire for Parents or Guardians for your teachers to use if they like. This letter would be a boon to Sara's application, especially if she's applying to study writing or English.

She clearly impressed her English teacher and, in return, got a memorable, complimentary letter of recommendation for her college application. Writing an effective letter of recommendation takes both time and some thought. Spend some time with the candidate you are writing for in order to discuss his or her goals and objectives.

Below are some areas to consider when writing an effective recommendation letter. A letter of recommendation (or reference letter) is a document designed to add extra weight and merit to a job or college application. They are usually written by a supervisor, colleague, teacher, or friend.

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Academic Recommendation Letter Examples and Writing Tips. Here's a Sample Recommendation Letter for a College Student. These are the Top Cover Letter Tips for College Students and Graduates.

Sample Reference Letter from a Teacher for a Student.

Tips on Writing Recommendation Letters - Career Services - Ithaca College