Letters of Recommendation?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: Letters of Recommendation?
By Alethio (Alethio) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 01:57 pm: Edit

If I ask my two teachers for their letters of recommendation and I'm planning to apply to 6 different colleges, do I need to ask them to write a letter and make 6 copies myself or is that the job of the teacher to make copies for me? Also, if I asked the teachers to put their letters of recommendation on a disk/CD so that I can print copies as needed, would that be considered rude (since I would end up reading what they wrote)?

By Serene (Serene) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 02:53 pm: Edit

The teachers should make the copies. And if it's possible it's also wise to tailor each recommendation slightly differently to suit different colleges.

By Alethio (Alethio) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 03:12 pm: Edit

Mmm...okay, thanks Serene. Whew...that's gonna be a lot of teachers to ask :-p.

By Serene (Serene) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 03:13 pm: Edit

well it's just 2 teachers, right?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 03:20 pm: Edit

You only need two teachers plus your college advisor Alethio, just besure to ask tham ASAP to give them time to fit it in.
also preparing a curriculum vitae is helpful to remind them of classes taken, and other activities you may be involved in.
I wouldn't worry about having them write a different recomendation for each college or scholarship.
Ask what they prefer, for you to hold onto disk, or for them to make copies. My daughter had a disk of the recommendation from one teacher, then when she needed it for a new college or scholarship she just had him sign it and the school mailed it off in a specially sealed envelope.

She did wait too long to have her favorite teacher and advisor write her a rec, so don't you make that same mistake.
also be sure to let them know if you are applying ED anywhere, as that changes the dates quite a bit

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Here are my thoughts on this based on being the recommender:

There is usually a form for each college with check boxes they fill out in addition to space for something free-form. That means you will need to give the teacher the six forms, plus six stamped envelopes. Generally the envelopes are addressed to the college, but you may be asked to get the recommendation from the teacher in a sealed envelope with their signature across the flap, and include it with your other application materials. If that's the case, you will need to provide the teacher with 2 envelopes for that college - one with just the college name, another bigger, stamped one addressed to you.

There will be a place on the form for you to sign giving up your right to see the recommendation later. I think the polite thing to do is go ahead and sign so that it's up to the teacher whether or not to give you a copy. Also, I think colleges prefer recommendations from teachers who are free to write candidly.

Writing recommendations is time consuming work that teachers don't get paid for. Make sure you follow up with thank you notes and let the teacher know the outcome of your applications process. Avoid gifts with obvious monetary value, but if you wanted to include some home-baked cookies or something that would be okay (but certainly not expected or required).

Give the teacher plenty of time to do a good job at a time that's convenient for them. Don't wait until near the deadline. And try to give the teacher all the forms at once. It's a lot more work for them if you bring one or 2 at a time. Also, get the recs for your RD schools at the same time as your ED school(s). If you are waitlisted or rejected at your ED school in mid-Dec., you don't want to be hitting up a teacher who is leaving for xmas break and asking them to do a rush-rush job on a bunch of recommendations for safeties with an early-jan RD deadline.

It's your responsibility to follow up with either the teacher or the colleges to make sure the recommendation has been received before the deadline. Forms have been known to get lost in a pile of papers on teachers' desks and forgotten. And some teachers are just as bad about procrastinating as students are. You may have to nag/remind a bit.

The suggestion of giving the teacher a curriculum vitae is a good one. Even if the teacher likes you, they may not remember all of your wonderful accomplishments off the top of their head.

By Alethio (Alethio) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 04:55 pm: Edit

Awesome! Thanks guys for the help :-D

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