One of the most important parts of the college application, especially now that standardized test scores are not always required, 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.
Here are some key things you and your child need to know about teacher recommendations.
Recommendations should come from core subjects: English, math, science, history, and foreign language. Why? Because these are classes that are usually part of a required curriculum in college.
11th Grade teachers tend to be the most popular teachers to ask for letters of recommendation, but that might not be ideal this year. If your child has not been able to connect with any junior year teachers due to virtual learning, asking teachers from 10th grade may be a good choice.
Teacher recommendations speak to unique parts of the applicant and can add a personal touch. 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 committee and will help a student to be remembered when it comes time to make that all-important decision.
Letters can speak to academic interests. Teachers can use their recommendations to speak to a student's intellectual curiosity and how their abilities are developing in specific academic disciplines.
The bottom line is that now is the time for your child to identify who is going to write for them. Please help them to check the admissions websites for specific colleges and how many teacher recommendation letters are required. It’s usually one, but often at highly selective schools, it will be two.