College Corner: Tips on how to ask for letters of rec

Aileen Kangavary

Fall semester is the time where seniors usually stress for letter of recommendations. However, the stress doesn’t only fall on seniors. Other grade levels could also use a letter of recommendation when signing up for scholarships or programs. Here’s a list of tips for students in any grade  need when wanting to approach a person to ask:

Ask someone who knows you well:

Ask someone who actually knows who you are and recognizes your achievement and work. There’s no point in asking a teacher who you got a passing score in the class but don’t truly know because then the letter just seems empty.

Ask early:

Teachers get stressed too since they have other students asking for recommendations. You don’t work well under pressure and under a condensed period of time, so neither will they. Give them a month or so in advance so they can come up with a really good one.

Ask Personally:

Asking personally is the way to go because it shows more importance than just an e-mail. Remember to ask at appropriate times and when they’re not getting swamped with recommendations by students.

Have all the materials necessary:

Creating a little portfolio with a cover page including your name, grade and reason for the letter of recommendation and who the letters are to, would be beneficial because the writer will have something to refer to when needed. Attach your brag sheet and resume if needed. Some adults may even ask for your personal statement so be prepared to share that as well.

Waive your right to read the letter:

You have access to read the letters that adults create for you however it would be best to refrain from them. Writers are more comfortable writing a candid letter when they know you’re not going to read it. Also, it reassures the readers (the department of admissions) that they’ve written a  great letter because you haven’t gotten a chance to read it.