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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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The importance of having two letters of recommendation

Hey everyone! I've seen that most colleges ask for two letters of recommendation during the application process. How important is it to have two quality recommendations? Does it significantly impact the application process?

7 months ago

Hey there! You're right that many colleges do require or recommend two letters of recommendation as part of the application process. These letters typically come from teachers who can speak to your academic abilities, character, strengths, and potential for success at college.

Having two quality letters of recommendation is essential in the sense that your teachers can provide insight into who you are as a student and as a person, as they know you well in an academic setting. Admissions officers want to see what others think of your work ethic, communication skills, and intellectual curiosity, among other traits.

That being said, it's important to note that letters of recommendation usually don't hold as much weight as some other components of your application, such as GPA, test scores, and extracurricular involvement. However, they can still have a meaningful impact on your application, and are sometimes one of the most important factors outside of those core three areas listed above, especially if the letters highlight unique qualities or experiences that may not be evident from other parts of your application.

For example, a particularly strong and personalized recommendation can potentially tip the scale in your favor if you're a borderline applicant, or if you're applying to a highly selective school where all admissions decisions are made along such fine lines. If a teacher provides specific examples of your achievements, personal growth, or ability to overcome challenges, this can set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your potential to succeed in college. On the other hand, a generic or weak recommendation can have an adverse effect on your application and may even raise questions about your qualifications or character.

In short, while letters of recommendation aren't typically the most significant factor in the admissions process, having two strong and well-crafted letters can certainly be an asset and contribute positively to your application. Make sure to choose recommenders who know you well and can provide specific examples of your accomplishments and personal growth, as this will make your letters more compelling and effective in showcasing who you are.

Best of luck with your college journey!

7 months ago

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