Letters of Recommendation – GradPlan

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Letters of Recommendation

Why you need Letters of Recommendation and how to get them.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

Letters of recommendation are an opportunity for an adult who knows you well to speak about your strengths, passions, and skills outside of just your academic profile and test scores.

How do I Ask Someone to Recommend Me?

It is courteous to give your recommender at least 4 weeks’ notice ahead of any deadlines. Provide guidance on how they are to submit the recommendation letter(s) and any deadlines associated. If the letter needs to be mailed, it is courteous to provide a stamped envelope addressed to the office that is to receive the letter.


Choose someone who knows your passions, as well as your personal history, and who can talk about your strengths and how you’ve grown.
Teachers, bosses, counselors, pastors, and coaches are usually good options.


Provide a list of programs you are applying to, and express your so they can speak to them clearly. If you have application materials like a personal essay, resume or activities list, share these with your recommender also.


Show your appreciation by sending your Recommender a Thank You note. You can send this via email or a hand-written card. Let them know what opportunities you were accepted to and which you plan to move forward with.

Tip! It is natural to feel nervous about asking someone to write you a Letter of Recommendation. Just know that your supporters will expect it during this time of year, and they will be honored that you chose them to be your advocate.

Looking for more?

Watch this video with interviews from numerous school programs on what they are looking for in letters of recommendation.

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist