College Letter of Recommendation Considerations

About this article
A letter of recommendation is often required when applying to colleges. This article will provide information that can help you choose the best people to write your letters of recommendation.
View available schools

If the college you apply to requires letters of recommendation, you will likely need to obtain two to three letters , depending upon the specific requirements. When deciding who to ask, you should consider people who know you well, inside and outside the classroom. According to the professionals at collegeboard.com, the following list of items is helpful when getting a letter of recommendation:

  • Don't be shy. Teachers and counselors are usually happy to write letters of recommendation.
  • Include stamped envelopes addressed to each school for which you are applying.
  • Waive your right to view the letters on the application form because the admissions board will take these letters more seriously.
  • Ask a recommendation writer if he or she will be able to write a positive recommendation.
  • Follow up with your recommendation writers after a few weeks to make sure they're aware of deadlines.
  • Write thank-you notes to your recommendation writers and, later, tell them where you have decided to go to college.

English or math teachers are usually good candidates for recommendation writers. Aim to get someone who knows you well. Your recommendation writer doesn't have to have impressive credentials; for example, a boss, tennis coach, or junior college teacher or advisor can write impressive recommendations for you. Just keep in mind that the person must know you personally, and that person must be able to communicate your strengths.

Don't rush your recommendation writer. It is recommended that you allow at least a month before the deadline for them to write and send your letter of recommendation. Also, when you talk to your recommendation writers, remind them of your accomplishments and inform them about your future plans. You could provide a brief summary of your activities and goals. Keep in mind the best letters of recommendation praise you on specific achievements, not vague boasting.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
      • MBA: Health Care Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
      • AAS in Information Technology - Multiplatform Software Development
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • DBA: Healthcare Management
      • DBA: Marketing
      • DBA: Project Management
      • DBA: Human Resources
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MA: Professional Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology
      • MA: Human Services Counseling: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
      • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation
      • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation
      • PhD in Psychology - Teaching
    Master's
      • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
      • MS in Education - Self-Designed
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Literacy (Grades PreK-6)
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Mathematics (Grades K-6)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics & Science (Grades K-8)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics (Grades 5-8)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Trident University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
      • Health Sciences (Ph.D.)
      • Doctor of Business Administration
      • Educational Leadership (Ed. D.)
      • Educational Leadership (Ph.D.)
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
      • Business Administration (BSBA)
      • Human Resources Management (BSHRM)
      • Homeland Security (BSHLS)
      • Information Technology Management (BSITM)
      • Leadership (BSL)
    Associate's
      • Professional Studies (ASPS)
    Certificate
      • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. The Chicago School

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
      • Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track
      • Ph.D. Business Psychology, I/O Track
      • Ph.D. International Psychology
      • Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis, Credential Track
    Master's
      • M.A. Psychology
      • Dual Enrollment: Master of Health Service Administration and Master of Public Health
      • M.A. Behavioral Economics
      • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
      • M.A. Forensic Psychology
      • M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: ARP Track
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program
      • Child and Adolescent Psychology Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Instructional Design Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
      • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education
      • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical
      • M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education-ITL
      • M.A. in English with an Emphasis in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
      • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
      • B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education
      • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in English as a Second Language
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Biblical Studies
      • B.S. Accountancy
      • B.S. Business: International Business
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
      • Human Resource Management, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Biblical Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Grief Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services/Student Affairs
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - International
    Master's
      • Master of Divinity - Interdisciplinary Studies
      • Master of Divinity - Old Testament
      • Master of Divinity - Christian Theology
  • Online Programs Available
    10. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
      • Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Liberty University

  • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
  • MA: Communication
  • MA: Professional Counseling

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
  • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
  • MS in Education - Self-Designed

What is your highest level of education completed?

Trident University

  • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
  • Professional Studies (ASPS)
  • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing

What is your highest level of education completed?

The Chicago School

  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Psychology, B.S.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?