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7 days ago
Admissions Advice

Letter of recommendation

I am currently aiming for ivy league schools, and was wondering if you guys had an opinion on this. I have both a science and math teacher's letters of recommendations ensured to be written, but I need a third from non-stem courses. I could either do a history teacher who I took 3 CP level (honestly was the workload of an AP class each quarter) and I got almost all perfect grades and put an insane amount of effort into and have a pretty good relationship with, or an AP English teacher who I have a familial-but-not-family connection with (I am apparently like one of her kids and she helped me during a time where I faced extreme racism) but grades only in the B->B+ range. Who should I pick for a letter of recommendation or should I just pick both?

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1 answer

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7 days ago

Hi there,

Choosing who to ask for a letter of recommendation can be a tough decision. Here's some insight that might help:

History Teacher:

Pros: You have a strong relationship with this teacher, and you performed exceptionally well in their class.

Cons: The course was not AP level, which might be a consideration for Ivy League admissions.

AP English Teacher:

Pros: You have a meaningful connection with this teacher, and they provided valuable support during a challenging time.

Cons: Your grades in the class were in the B to B+ range, which might be perceived as less competitive compared to straight-A students.

Ultimately, Ivy League admissions committees value both academic achievement and personal character. If you believe that your connection with the AP English teacher and the circumstances surrounding your relationship could provide valuable insight into your character and resilience, it might be worth considering them for a letter of recommendation.

However, if you feel that the History teacher's letter would better highlight your academic excellence and dedication, especially if the course was rigorous despite not being AP-level, that could also be a strong choice.

As for submitting both letters, it's generally recommended to stick to the number of recommendations requested by the college unless they explicitly allow or encourage additional letters. Submitting additional letters beyond what is requested could potentially overwhelm the admissions committee and dilute the impact of your application.

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on your personal circumstances and what you believe will present you in the best light to admissions committees. Good luck!

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