4 months ago
Admissions Advice

number of rec letters?

how many recommendation letters am I allowed to have? Or does it just depend on what college I apply for?


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Most top colleges will require 2 teacher recommendations and 1 HS counselor recommendation.

Some top STEM schools like MIT and Caltech will ask that 1 of the teachers recommendation be a STEM teacher.

Some Ivy's like Dartmouth have something called a Peer Recommendation which can be a friend in HS or someone in College that can vouch for you.

These schools do not require any:

Penn State University (unless specified by a program)

University of California schools

University of Minnesota

University of Texas

University of Washington

These schools just want a counselor recommendation:

College of William and Mary (teacher recommendation is optional)

Georgia Institute of Technology (teacher evaluation is recommended, but not required)

James Madison University (teacher recommendation is optional)

University of Richmond

These schools want to see one letter each from your school counselor and a teacher.

University of Delaware (one required, suggests that most applicants submit more than one letter)

Georgia Tech


University of Maryland

University of Massachusetts

University of Virginia

Wake Forest University

Hope that helps.

4 months ago

It definitely depends on the school. All schools have a different required amount and a limit. I suggest having two academic letters (from a teacher) if the school allows.

If the school allows more than two and you wish to submit more, make sure that the additional letters contribute something different to your application (i.e. if your first two teachers wrote on behalf of your academic achievements, your third one can be more on your character). However, if you sign the FERPA agreement, you will not know what your letters say. You would have to make that inference on your relationship with that teacher.

The same goes for non-academic letters. Make sure you have a good relationship with the person writing your letter so that they can add nuance to your character, rather than stating what has been already provided within your application (i.e. if you asked for a letter from a sports coach, make sure it's for a sport where you have demonstrated leadership, so they can talk about you as a team-player. Otherwise, they will likely talk about your commitment to the sport which colleges can already see through the extracurricular portion of the application).

4 months ago

It really depends!


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