Most recommendation letters are generic, lack specific details, and sound the same as a thousand other recommendations. Here are some ways you can make them yawn-proof. 🥱

When choosing a recommender:

Think relationship, not rank. Better to have someone who knows the student well than a vague letter from an important person.

Pick someone who has seen your student work hard for their grades.

Choose someone outside of the student's intended major to show wide ranging interest.

Select a second recommender who specializes in the student's intended major and can testify to their growth in the field.

📝 Encourage your recommenders to elaborate on course content and describe what makes the student unique with narratives. If the recommender doesn't know the student well, provide a brag sheet.

📅 Plan ahead. Well written recommendations take time. Ask for them long before they're due.

⏱️ Ask for a full single page recommendation. Remember, college applications receive only 8 minutes on average.

🏆 The Common App and some colleges require a school report or a school counselor recommendation. If the parent or guardian has to write this report, we recommend admitting your bias at the outset and highlight achievements that are verifiable outside of your home study program.

⛳ Provide the recommender with your list of extracurricular activities. It's a rare situation when a recommender mentions the student's activities. Such alignment is helpful on a college application.

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