Juniors: It's time to think about teacher recommendations

Many colleges require letters of recommendation from the people who know students best in an academic setting -- your high school counselor and teachers.  Letters of recommendation from teachers tell admission officers how students contribute to the academic and intellectual life of their high school. Now is the time to ask those teachers whom you would like to write for you, especially if you are enjoying a class and connecting with the teacher or planning to apply under an early program. You want to ask teachers who know you well and have taught you recently in a challenging class. Many high schools have specific procedures for making requests -- including the earliest and latest dates you may make those requests. Find out your high school's policies and follow them.

For more information about letters of recommendation, including how to ask, what to provide teachers, counselor recommendations and more, see Chapter 12, “Recommendations” in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.


I recommend all of my students talk with teachers this spring to get their necessary teacher recommendations. Those who wait until the fall may find that teachers are under too much pressure to write a good rec. Teacher recommendations are important for college admissions.

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