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Letters of Recommendation


Letters of recommendation from teachers:

  • As you research application requirements for each college you want to apply to, make a note of how many letters of recommendation are needed from teachers. 
  • Official requests for letters of recommendation must go through Naviance. Do not invite recommenders through the Common App.
  • Usually if letters are required from teachers, they need to be academic/core subject teachers. If there is a teacher you would like to write for you from an elective subject, you can add that letter as an extra (beyond the number required from academic teachers).
  • Think of which teachers know you best. Pick teachers you had recently. Pick teachers in your field of interest, if you already know what you would like to major in in college. For example, if you would like to go into engineering, ask a math teacher and a physics teacher. If you would like to go into nursing, ask a science teacher and a math teacher. 
  • Have a conversation with the teacher you want to ask for the letter and make sure to give them plenty of time - at a minimum 2 weeks. 
  • Once the teachers let you know they are willing to write the letter for you, invite them officially through Naviance. Go to “Colleges I’m Applying to”, scroll to the bottom of that page and you will see “Letters of Recommendation Section”. Click on that link, then pick the teacher’s name from the drop-down list. Click on “send to all colleges”. 
  • CHS teachers receive many requests for letters of recommendation, so please do not ask different teachers to write for different colleges. 

It is not a good idea to send many additional letters. If 2 are required, send 2 (or 3 maximum, if you have an elective teacher you would like to add).

Letters of recommendation from counselors:

Students can request a letter of recommendation from the counselor if it is required by the college. Often, they are not required. Colleges prefer to have teachers’ letters of recommendation because teachers have specific information about what qualities students display in classes and in academic content areas. The information that counselors have is redundant, since the student fills it out in the application. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University do not require a letter of recommendation from a counselor (and neither do EMU, CMU, WMU, Michigan Tech, etc).

Exception: It would be appropriate to request a counselor letter of recommendation if the student experienced a dip in grades one year due to a death in the family for example, and the student gives permission to the counselor to share that information with the college.

Addressing scheduling conflicts: we submit a 12th grade schedule with the transcript, so if your senior was unable to take a class they wanted, and they are worried because they are applying to a selective university, we can add a note to the schedule that we submit, explaining that there was a master schedule conflict so the student had to take a different course.

Counselor Recommendation: Please complete the form attached below and submit to the Counseling Office.