Letters of recommendation 101

Recorded Wednesday, November 17 at 09:30 PM

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About this livestream


A good letter of rec is easy to come by, but a standout letter takes some planning and foresight. Today, Elias will walk you through the steps involved in asking and preparing for a letter of rec to optimize your chances of getting into your dream school(s).

We’ll cover who to ask, how to ask them, and what you can do to ensure your recommendation best reflects how you want to be portrayed. We’ll also touch on how letters are reviewed by admissions committees to give you a better idea of their role in the application process.

Come prepared to take notes and ask questions, as there will be time throughout the session for Elias to interact with you all, as well as a Q&A at the end!

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into CommonApp.org in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
3:44@summerorbanwrites:Hi Elias!
4:33@summerorbanwrites:Oh wait I can hear you now!
4:45@Jostin:yes we can hear you
4:50@summerorbanwrites:I can see you!
5:01@GeorgeC:No, could not hear for 6 min!
11:12@SydneyDeSimone:I can’t hear or see you. Nothing is loading for me
11:14@SydneyDeSimone:I can’t hear or see you
17:43@summerorbanwrites:I can hear and see you!
29:34@SydneyDeSimone:For some reason I still cannot hear or see you : (
31:08@BoliviaOlivia:I applaud you for your freestyling :)
32:54@SeeU:How do I get recommendations from online school teachers where I only meet my teachers live once a semester?
35:31@Syne:You said teachers can send letters of recommandations 2 weeks after the deadline. How can w apply without them ? The pplication will not be accepted if it's not full ?
36:20@summerorbanwrites:I think it is now for the Common App.
36:21@Syne:I heard that, the application nedd to be 100% complete apparently
38:34@summerorbanwrites:Bye Elias!


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