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Letters of Recommendation

Requesting a Letter of Recommendation is a very personal favor that students are asking Teachers, Counselors, and Community Members to write for them. As such, the requests should be made IN PERSON by the student and followed up with a formal request in Naviance. Recommendations are a HUGE task --the faculty are inundated with potentially hundreds of requests, and each letter will take at least an hour to write. Furthermore, the letters are written on their own personal time, over and above their regular job duties for no additional compensation!

 

You need to be well organized when you approach a member of the faculty for a recommendation - make sure that your resume and questionnaires are completed in Naviance. Please make sure to ask WELL in advance (at least 2 weeks). If they are willing to write a letter for you, then you must confirm it by formally requesting the recommendation in Naviance.

 

Once a teacher has written the recommendation, please do them the courtesy of thanking them for their efforts! 

 

Important Notes about Recommendations:

  • The UC's & CSU's do not require or accept letters of recommendation. 
  • Private colleges require both recommendations and transcripts. Most applications for scholarships & summer programs will also require them.
  • Recommendations are intended to be confidential documents. Students/parents should not ask the writer for a copy. It is the writer's prerogative to allow students or parents to view the letter. 
  • If students need multiple letters of recommendation, they should use the same teachers/counselors for those letters as well!
  • If you have complied with all of the above procedures it is not necessary to remind the teacher/counselor of the deadline. With literally hundreds of recommendations to write each year it can be very annoying when parents & students are constantly following up to ask, is it done yet? 
  • Always send the teacher a thank you note for taking the time to write you a recommendation!
  • Make sure all of your Test Scores have been updated and saved in Naviance.
  • Make sure that you have moved all of the colleges you are applying to out of the "college's I'm thinking about" section of Naviance into the "colleges I'm applying to" page. You must do this BEFORE you submit your letter of recommendation request.
  • Make sure that you have the selected the correct deadlines for each of your schools in the "colleges I'm applying to" section of Naviance.  These are the deadlines your teachers and counselors will be working towards. These cannot be artificial deadlines that you or your parents created. Only your Counselor can override a college deadline in Naviance.
  • Make sure your Naviance Account has been matched to your Common Application. 
  • For any schools that do not accept the electronic documents, you will need to bring the supplemental forms, along with stamped, pre-addressed envelopes to your teachers to mail them in. 

Naviance Procedures for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation in Naviance:

  1. Update your list of "colleges I'm applying to" in Naviance
  2. Make sure that you have selected the correct application deadline for each school on your "colleges I'm applying to" page in Naviance.
  3. Please verify which of your schools accept/require letters of recommendation. For example, none of the UC's or CSU's accept recommendations, and even the Common Application schools have limits on the number of recommendations they will accept. So, do your research before requesting letters. Do NOT submit the letter of recommendation requests directly from the Common Application!
  4. You should complete the brag-sheet under the surveys tab in the "about me" section.   
  5. You should complete one of the Teacher Recommendation questionnaires in Naviance. 
  6. Once you have completed steps 1-5 you should talk to the teacher in person to confirm that they are willing to write a letter for you.
  7. Now, you are ready to submit your letter of recommendation requests through Naviance, by clicking on the "Letters of Recommendation link" in the "Colleges" tab. Once that page opens click "Add Request."
  8. After clicking "Add Request" will select the teacher you want to request the recommendation from in the drop-down menu.
  9. Do NOT select the "all applications" option. You must only select the "Choose specific colleges from your Colleges I'm Applying To list" option, and check off which schools you want your letters submitted to.

Click here to view a Naviance training video on how to request letters of recommendation from teachers. 


 

LOR Request: Summary

  1. Link your Common App to Naviance (do NOT attempt to assign recommenders via the Common Application)
  2. Complete the brag-sheet in Naviance.  You can find this under the "about me" tab in "surveys". 
  3. Ask the individual you are requesting a letter from (teacher, counselor, community member) IN PERSON at least two weeks prior to the due date for the letter of recommendation.
  4. Confirm your request by submitting it to the teacher(s) and counselor via the "Letters of Recommendation" request feature in Naviance.