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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Is a counselor recommendation non-negotiable for the Common App?

Quick question, everyone: I’ve heard that a counselor recommendation might be part of the application requirements on the Common App, but I'm not entirely sure if it’s something every college needs. Is it possible to submit my application without one, or is it mandatory? Let me know, thanks!

7 months ago

Greetings! I'd be happy to clarify this for you. The Common Application generally requires one counselor recommendation as part of its standard application process. This recommendation serves to provide colleges with an overview of your academic performance and potential from the perspective of your school.

However, there are scenarios where a counselor recommendation may not be available—for instance, if you're homeschooled or your school does not have a traditional counseling system. In such cases, the Common App does offer alternatives, such as a recommendation from another school official or a third-party who can speak to your academic abilities.

It’s important to check the specific requirements of each individual college you’re applying to since they have the ultimate say on application requirements. Moreover, even if a college doesn't explicitly require a counselor recommendation, having one can bolster your application, providing a more comprehensive view of your profile.

If obtaining a counselor recommendation is a possibility for you, it would typically be in your best interest to include it as part of your submission. If you encounter a situation where you cannot obtain a counselor recommendation, I recommend reaching out directly to the admissions offices of the colleges you're interested in to explain your circumstances and inquire about alternative options.

Wish you all the best with your applications!

7 months ago

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