The college application process can be a stressful time for parents, students, and teachers alike. With how competitive the process has been getting, the importance of a holistic application is more important now than ever before. One of the most important parts of the college application is the recommendations that teachers write for their applicants. There are several different reasons why these recommendations are vital and can set an applicant apart from the pack.
Many applicants and students have parts of their application that they would like to bring out that simply don’t show up in writing on the document. Examples could be hobbies that might not fit into a box or column on the application but nonetheless are an important part of who the student is. When a teacher writes their recommendation, they can explain in detail just how important that skill or hobby is to the student and why that part of their application is important. Teachers can use their recommendation letter to bring out parts of the application that otherwise might not be noticed.
Applications are a lot of grades, numbers, and other objective matters; however, the personality of the student is just as important and deserves attention. It is easy for an application to blend into the pack; lots of students have great grades, participate in sports, play instruments, and provide services to their community so it is important for students to stand out from the group however possible. Teachers are able to use their recommendations to share stories from the student’s time at an institution. These stories can stick in the minds of those on the admissions board and will help a student to be remembered when it comes time to make that all-important decision. The stories from these teachers can make or break a student’s application.
Many people believe that the grades on the application say all that they need to when it comes to a student’s intellectual abilities but recommendations are still important from this perspective as well. When students take courses, the courses can vary between institutions. Some courses are harder than others and this is even true for Honors level and AP level classes. Teachers can use their recommendation to speak to a student’s intellectual expertise, curiosity, and willingness to learn. These letters are very important for a student to have their true intellectual abilities recognized.
These are only a few of the many reasons why teacher recommendations are vital to a student’s application. It is important to think carefully about who should write the letters and what side of a student these letters can speak to. They could make a difference in the final decision regarding the application.
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