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2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I get a letter of rec from someone outside of school?
Answered

I already have my letters of rec for teachers sorted, but I heard that getting one from someone with an advanced degree who knows you outside of school is a good idea. I asked my dad and he said it was a good idea, but I'd like some outside input

rec-letters
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Accepted Answer
2 months ago

I think rather than making sure you get a letter of recommendation from someone with an advanced degree (who might not know you as well), you should get a LOR from someone who can say something extra about you others might not know. For example, I asked someone I did some volunteer work for to give me an LOR because she has seen me fulfill different roles and be willing to take over responsibilities for others. Is there someone in your life who has seen you do something that sets you apart from other people (like an employer, Sunday School teacher, or family friend)? If that person happens to have an advanced degree, that is great, but not necessary.

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2 months ago

Hi @Jack_req! First, you should make sure that your prospective colleges even allow letters of rec that don't come from teachers. From there, you need to decide if this additional letter will add something to your application that isn't already there.

If the letter of recommendation is from someone you've worked closely with, and they know you and your strengths very well, then a letter from them may enhance your application. But, remember that admissions officers have to read thousands of applications a year, and an extra letter may give them the wrong impression. So, ask yourself whether this letter will offer a perspective of you or highlight a significant accomplishment not covered elsewhere in your application.

Check out this article for more information about whether or not you should submit an additional letter of recommendation. Hope this helps!

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2 months ago

it is a good idea if someone knows you well, but that someone has to be affiliated with something you do or did, not a family friend.

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