Posted by Carolyn Pippen on Friday, September 27, 2013
Last week I gave several tips on how to write your personal essay. Next up in our “How To” series on the application process: letters of recommendation.
As you go about completing your application for admission, your intent should be to accurately portray yourself as a person, as a member of your community, and most importantly, as a student. Your high school transcript and standardized test scores will provide us with a wealth of information on your academic achievement, and these two items will be a large focus of our evaluation of your file.
That being said, we know that quantitative information like grades and test scores only tell part of the story. We are searching for more than just highly accomplished students; we also want students who are motivated and engaged, who enjoy the learning process, and who actively seek opportunities to learn more. It goes without saying that your transcript and test scores are imperfect measures of these more subjective qualities.
This is where the letters of recommendation come in. We require each applicant to submit three letters: two from teachers who taught you in a core academic area (preferably either junior or senior year), and one from your assigned guidance counselor. The tips below will help guide you in the process of selecting your academic teachers and soliciting their recommendations:
Just like all other pieces of the application, we know that our students will fret over their recommendation letters, no matter how much we tell them not to. Rest assured, however, that your teachers and counselors are your biggest cheerleaders in this process, and they are all honored to have the opportunity to advocate for you. All you have to do is let them.
Posted in Application Process and tagged: Application Process, Application reading, Common Application, Early Decision, how to apply, Recommendation letters, teacher recommendations, Vanderbilt Regular Decision
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