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When to Ask My Teachers For Recommendation Letters?

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

Your Junior year teachers are most likely teaching your most rigorous high school courses. For that reason, Fall is the right time to consider your academic recommenders, and Spring is the right time to ask for their help.

Consider the following:

  • Check out each college’s policy on recommenders – do they want a counselor, teacher recommender, or both?

  • How many recommendation letters are you permitted to submit?

  • Do the schools on your list consider "other recommenders" outside of your academics?

  • Consider a recommender in math/science and a recommender in the humanities (English, History, Foreign Language).

  • Ask your teacher in person with a heartfelt thank you for their time. Explain to your teacher what you plan to study, the schools in which you are interested, and how each school views recommendation letters in their admissions rubric – check out each school’s Common Data Set.

  • Write a letter formally asking them for their recommendation, including your application list, application type, date, and program of study.

  • Provide your teacher and counselor with a complete resume to remind them of your unique accomplishments inside and outside school.

  • Know your guidance department's process for inviting teachers in advance

Planning now for your recommendation letter strategy will help you minimize stress as you enter the next academic year. Think ahead!

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