Getting Started w/Apps

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Getting Started w/Apps
By Valleymom (Valleymom) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit

First time poster- long time reader of this board. I feel as if I know some of you so well.
What a wonderful group you all are!
My D is a senior at a private school in So. California. She would like to stay in sunny California for college. The UC's are her primary focus. She will apply to a few out of state large universities also. She has most of the apps in hand and is filling in the"easy" part- "name, rank and serial number". The essays are still mere bullet points at this stage. Regarding ettiquete for teacher recs- what is the proper procedure? Should she write a cover letter? She currently has classes with both of the teachers she will ask. Should she attach a page with additional information about herself? Any advice would be great.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit

Hey Valleymom! Glad you are posting now too!

For the recs, yes, your daughter should write a cover letter as well as enclose her activity/award "resume" list. The cover letter can include several things. Let the teacher know that the recs that are most helpful to admissions committees are those that share anecdotes and specifics about a student and how the student is particularly memorable. Let the teacher know your college plans. Then remind the teacher of some of the highlights of your experiences while in their class... any special accomplishments, presentations, or memorable moments...refresh his/her memory. Remind the teacher of your strengths in that class. These might include both academic and nonacademic ones. Perhaps the teacher knows the student outside of the class (has come to all her games or performances or supervised her in a club) and include any reminders of those situations as well. I also like to have my child include a summary of what SHE will be highlighting on HER application, such as qualities about herself that she is hoping to get across and hopefully if the teacher can comment on any of these areas (if he/she agrees) that would correlate with the rest of the application. Your D can give the teacher a date to get the rec done by and directions of whom to give it to. Your daughter would fill out the top of each rec form from each college and then the teacher would fill in the checklist and short answer parts and attach a narrative (which then can be used on the subsequent recs). Ideally, if your D could package all her rec forms in one pile and give them to the teacher in a big envelope, along with the cover letter and the resume, that would do it. Now is a good time for this.

Hope to see you joining the fray here more often.

By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 02:54 am: Edit

She should include stamped envelopes addressed to the appropriate schools with the recommendations. The return address should be left blank for the teacher to fill in as he or she wants.

By Wiseoldman (Wiseoldman) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:37 am: Edit

Soozievt, thanks for a remarkably helpful post re: getting letters of recommendation. I'll have my daughter use all your suggestions.

By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 10:26 am: Edit

Here is an extremely helpful thread with contribution from the above Soozievt on how to write the resume itself. I thought it was very very thoughtful (thanks so much Susan):

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