Beginning with the 2014 program period, the normal App now formally accommodates non-academic recommendation letters through the on the web portal, along with those from teachers and counselors. So , how can you make full use of this option?
The answer may be this: by doing almost nothing. Every college requests the relevant data they have to make advised admissions decisions. While some colleges actively ask for a non-academic guide, most usually do not. Most of the time, that is because an additional recommendation letter is not really required.
When not to submit a supplemental recommendation notice
A great recommendation letter provides value. Does your dad know the mayor, and she’s willing to print out a generic form notice on your behalf? The woman prestige is irrelevant for your admissions choice. Will your pastor explain essential spirituality is to you? Your own leadership in youth group already signals in order to admissions employees. Can your trainer talk about your great on-field communication skills? Could be helpful, but your history teacher is already adoring your listening and synthesizing skills in group work—and that applying your talent is more directly highly relevant to college achievement.
Within previous posts we’ve talked about easy methods to solicit recommendation words that help colleges understand your intellectual curiosity make within a campus community. Before delivering supplemental recommendation words, think about, “What insight does this include that is not currently shared elsewhere? ”
When a recommendation letter can be helpful
There are certainly instances when a non-educator can also add a valuable point of view to your program. When giving program assistance as a College Coach admissions expert, I work with students individually to identify these situations. Perhaps you are certainly not an active class participant, however your boss on the hardware store may talk about your great rapport with customers and just how folks frequently ask for your specific assistance. In cases like this, your ability to communicate and voice your opinions might not otherwise be apparent to the admissions employees. Or perhaps you are not a captain of your soccer team, however, you played a critical role in establishing a safe space for group bonding throughout a drama-filled period. Your coach may provide insight in your leadership and eyesight in a manner that is not really already captured by your rundown.
But remember, much more is not always better
After i was a good admissions official at Tufts , I read a lot of recommendation letters—generally, 3 per file: two teachers and a consultant. My record optimum was seven, though other colleagues made it into double digits. At this stage, additional letters are merely noise—you become “the kid who posted seven letters, ” rather than a job candidate memorable for the unique traits.
The actual inclusion of a non-academic evaluation in the Common App certainly makes it easier for non-teachers to upload recommendation words. But if your application currently represents you in a manner that makes you proud, do not submit extra recommendation words simply because the normal App enables you to do this.
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