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Letters of Recommendation

     Even though you will not be writing your own recommendations, they are your responsibility. Know what forms the colleges require. Most colleges request that your guidance counselor complete a recommendation form and submit an official transcript. Make certain that your high school guidance office has submitted these forms at least three weeks before the application deadline.

     A word of caution about letters of recommendation unsolicited by the college: the letter from the college alumnus who works with your father but who has only met you twice will have no impact. A good rule of thumb is to submit only letters written by those who have observed your performance in some area, be it athletics, drama or a summer job. Also, avoid too many (more than three) recommendations.

     In addition to the school/counselor recommendation, you will be asked to submit teacher recommendations. Be aware of these requirements and then pick teachers who know you and will take the time to write a meaningful assessment of your performance. You may want to schedule a fifteen minute conference with these teachers to make certain they are well informed about you. It is helpful to give them information about yourself and your interests and school and community extra-curricular activities. You should provide your teachers with an addressed and stamped envelope with the recommendation form. Make teachers aware of deadlines and contact them near these deadlines to make certain that the recommendations were mailed.

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