back to Admissions Advice
03/11/2020 at 08:39PM
Admissions Advice

Who to ask for letters of recommendation?

I'm starting to get nervous I won't have anyone to ask to write my recommendation letters. Most of my friends have at least one teacher they've been really close to or liked who they plan on asking but I don't. I don't play sports either so I can't ask a coach.

If you're like me and aren't really close to any teachers who are you planning on asking? Of who did you end up asking if you already have your letters? I'd appreciate any help or advice I can get.


Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

3 answers

Accepted Answer
03/12/2020 at 10:41PM

The good news is that since you're thinking about this now (and I'm assuming won't be asking for letters until next year) you have time to get to know some of your teachers. Like @jcdenton said, try to focus on teachers where you've already done well in their class. If you're going to have a teacher again next year it might be a good idea to ask them too.

Also, try to make yourself "known" more to your teachers. If you don't understand something in class you should ask a question or follow-up with your teacher after class to ask any clarifying questions so you can understand the material better. If you need help with the homework maybe work in their class sometimes after school. Even if your grades aren't the best teachers still notice your effort. If it's clear you're trying your best to succeed and using all the resources available to you it's a lot easier for a teacher to write a good recommendation letter compared to if you do OK in class (or are actively disruptive), don't try to improve, and generally don't seem to be trying.

03/11/2020 at 11:10PM

You could always get an employer to write a letter for you. If you don't have a job, I would recommend getting one because those look good on your resumes too!

03/12/2020 at 10:24PM

Even if you're not close to your teachers, that doesn't mean you can't ask them. A lot of colleges will require at least two "academic" letters of recommendation, so while you could ask an employer or mentor from outside of school, some schools might still want letters from teachers. So, in that case, try to ask teachers whose classes you've done well in, and who have at least seen your work ethic and skills firsthand.

Also, a good trick I learned a while ago is to word your request like "do you feel comfortable writing a recommendation letter for me?" because, if they really don't think they know you well enough to write one, that allows them to say so. If they say yes to that question, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works