What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How valuable is an alumni letter of recommendation?

I recently connected with an alumnus from a college I'm interested in, and they offered to write me a letter of recommendation. How much can an alumni recommendation help in the admissions process at that school? Is it looked at differently than a recommendation from a teacher or counselor?

7 months ago

An alumni letter of recommendation can be a valuable addition to your application, but it is generally weighted less than recommendations from teachers or counselors. The main purpose of an alumni recommendation is to provide additional insight into your personal qualities and character, and to highlight your fit with the institution from the perspective of someone who knows the school well.

However, keep in mind that most colleges put higher emphasis on letters from teachers and counselors, as they can better evaluate your academic performance and potential, as well as your impact in the school community. While alumni recommendations can help support your application, they should not replace the input of those with firsthand knowledge of your educational achievements and personal growth.

That being said, if the alumnus is able to offer specific and detailed examples about your accomplishments, work ethic, or demonstrated interest in the college, their recommendation can be a valuable supplement to your application. Additionally, if the alumnus has had significant interactions with you or has been a direct mentor, their insights may carry more weight.

To make the most of an alumni recommendation, ensure that the content complements the information in your application and provides a unique perspective on your skills or attributes. It is important, however, not to rely solely on an alumni recommendation to improve your chances for admission, as it will likely have a more limited impact than other aspects of your application. Instead, focus on creating a strong overall profile, which includes stellar academic performance, compelling essays, and meaningful extracurricular activities, while using the alumni recommendation to augment the overall picture of your candidacy.

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.