College recommendation process
This information is for students who want me to write college recommendation letters for them. Note that the first two steps are due June 30 and July 31. I am not able to write letters for students who wait to ask me until senior year.
Overview and timetable
- By June 30: If you haven’t already done so, ask me to write a recommendation for you. Usually my answer will be yes, but if I have reservations about writing a letter about you, or don’t think I could write a positive enough letter to serve your needs, I will tell you.
- By July 31: E-mail me your answers to the questions below. Sending me this e-mail means you are definitely seeking a letter from me and asking me to put the time into writing it.
- September: In counselor seminar you will learn about the online system Naviance which LHS uses for nearly all recommendations.
- At least two weeks before your application deadlines: Initiate a request in Naviance for a recommendation from me to be sent to particular schools. Very important: At the same time, send me an e-mail saying that you have done this. I won’t know you’ve entered the request until you tell me.
- Note that I only send recommendations when the student has entered an online signature agreeing to make the letter confidential. This can be beneficial because some admissions office may attach more credibility to positive comments in a letter that was written and sent confidentially.
- In the rare instance that a recommendation can’t be sent via Naviance, contact me at least two weeks before the deadline and we’ll work out what we need to do instead.
QuestionsAnswering these questions will help me write a letter that reflects you fully and serves your interests. Please send me your responses by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or "Kevin Kelly" on First Class) no later than July 31.
- Describe some of your positive qualities as a learner that you have been able to demonstrate in our class.
- Looking back at your work for the year, what are you the most proud of?
- What is something that you wish you had done better this year?
- What do you regard as your most important academic accomplishments (in general, not exclusively in math)?
- To create an overall picture, I often briefly mention extracurricular activities. Please list a few of your most important activities, and one noteworthy detail about each.
- Answer as specifically as you can at this stage: What specific schools and/or what types of schools will you be applying to?
- What possibilities do you have in mind for your major subject in college?
- Is there anything you would like me to emphasize in my recommendation?