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Etiquette for Requesting a Letter of Rec

Private universities and many scholarships require that you include a letter of recommendation.  If you plan to ask your counselor or teacher for a letter of recommendation, please use the following tips to streamline the process:


Letter of Recommendation Request Etiquette


  • You need to plan ahead! Allow the person you are requesting a letter of recommendation from 3 weeks to complete it.Many times that individual is working on a number of recommendations simultaneously, which can be time consuming.
  • When filling out your questionnaire, use detailed narratives to describe, and give examples of your qualities, accomplishments and goals.Your parents can be a good resource of information for you! So, do ask them to help.
  • Speak to the person whom you are requesting a letter of recommendation from in person if possible, and provide them with a copy of your completed Letter of Recommendation Request Questionnaire form.
  • The person(s) you choose should know you, and have had positive interactions with you.


  • Treat your letter as confidential, so don't open it if it's given to you in a sealed envelope.
  • Be sure to thank the person(s) whom you have requested a letter of recommendation from. Remember, a little Gratitude goes a long way!


Feel free to provide your recommender with a resume and a well-written sample letter of recommendation that you write about yourself. Include information that the recommender otherwise might not know about you.


** UC and CSU schools DO NOT require letters of recommendation; unless  specifically asked to submit one as part of a supplemental application.

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