Many teachers write college letters of recommendation over the summer to avoid the fall crunch. In order to help them write an amazing letter of recommendation, you should provide them with a “brag packet” that highlights your accomplishments and achievements during high school.
The ‘brag packet” should also include all the colleges you might be applying to, your ACT/SAT test scores, what majors you are considering, extra-curricular and school activities, academic goals and a list of adjectives that you think describe you.
It is important to say a few things about why you have asked the teacher to write a letter of recommendation for you. Talk about what you enjoyed most about their class with specific examples.
Letters of recommendation can make a difference in getting accepted to college, so it is important to communicate to teachers what you feel is important to have in your letter.
Ask your teachers to:
- Highlight specific academic achievements you accomplished in their classroom. Teachers have a lot of students, so any assistance you can give them in remembering specific examples will be appreciated.
- Explain your impact in the classroom, how you may have improved class discussions or helped peers.
- Focus on your academic goals and potential to reach them.
- Comment on initiative, responsibility and maturity in the classroom.
- Describe your ability to react to challenges and setbacks or overcome adversity.
The more personal the teacher makes your letter of recommendation—with specific examples of classroom experiences—the more your application will stand out to the admissions office.
Many teachers spend a significant amount of time on letters of recommendations, so a thank you card is a must (by tania). A plate of chocolate chip cookies or a gift card wouldn’t hurt either!