Recommendation Instructions

Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

How many letters will I need and who should write them?

Some colleges either require or encourage that your application include two to three school-related recommendations.  Two evaluations by academic teachers and an evaluation by your counselor will cover all of the necessary requirements.  Occasionally you may want to also include a special recommendation from a coach, activity sponsor, or non-academic teacher who can provide an exceptional view of a particular area of interest or strength.  

If you are applying to public institutions in Colorado, and exceed the admissions index, recommendations are generally not necessary.  Talk with your counselor if you are uncertain. 

Please understand that the Common Application will require a counselor recommendation as well as 2 teachers.  Some colleges will specify if they would like a recommendation from a teacher in a specific subject area (ex:  highly selective engineering schools).

What do I do if I think there is a gap in my transcript?

If you feel your transcript has a gap (e.g. you had a tough time during high school due to illness, family issues, job etc. and therefore had an extended absence from school), please visit with your college career counselor.  We can address these issues through statements in the recommendations and give guidance in how to address your experience in your essay. We're here for you!

What is my first step after deciding who I'd like to ask to write a letter of recommendation for me?

Decide on a time when you can approach the faculty member in person.

Please don't be rude: Naviance and many college applications give you the opportunity to request letters of recommendation online. Please know that it is considered rude to enter a faculty member's email address into your college application or to request a letter of recommendation digitally via Naviance before you have spoken to the faculty member in person.

Faculty members spend time thoughtfully writing the letters of recommendation they have been asked to write. If you want them to put time into writing a letter to the potential college of your choosing that helps your shine, then please take the time to speak to them in person BEFORE contacting them digitally. 

Other Things to Remember When Asking for a Recommendation:

1.  You must request your letter of recommendation in person: 
Ask your teacher/counselor, in person, at least 2-3 weeks prior to needing the letter.

2.    Be professional in your request:
Make sure that you give your teacher/counselor a cover letter specifying the colleges you are applying to, how to submit the letter (every college is different- some will require a letter and others will require a special form). 

3.    Include an activities resume:
Use the resume builder on Naviance to create your activities resume.

4.    Make a second request via Naviance:
After you have requested the recommendation in person, you will need to request the letter/recommendation via Naviance. 

How to submit your second request in Naviance: At the bottom of your “Colleges I’m Applying To” page, there is a a button which allows you to request letters of recommendation from teachers and/or counselors. Please write a little note in the box Naviance provides when making your request. This note will be a part of the email that is directly sent to your teacher/counselor from Naviance.

5.    When to Follow Up:
Follow up with the teacher/counselor one week prior to needing the letter of recommendation.

6.    Thank You:
Write a letter to the faculty member thanking them for the time they put into writing your letter of recommendation.