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College Professor Supplemental Letter of Rec?

Katherine_02Katherine_02 2 replies5 postsRegistered User New Member

I am currently a rising senior (junior going into my senior year of high school). Unfortunately, I lost my internship at the local lab I worked at before summer started as a result of the lab's loss of funding. I have been working for the lab for almost a year.

Since college applications are coming up, I am wondering if I should ask the professor for a letter of recommendation? I am not sure whether or not I should do so because he is extremely busy (especially since his lab might close down soon) and I didn't work with him directly on the project since I worked with one of his employees (who cannot write me a letter since I don't have any way of contacting them anymore), so I am worried that the letter from the professor will not be a strong one... which brings me to the question of how much supplemental letters of recommendation really matter in highly selective college admissions? Like if I don't get this letter of recommendation from my professor, will it hurt me?

I am not sure if this helps at all, but I have won a few local ISEF-affiliated awards using the project I worked on when I was in the lab. I also have a strong science background and another letter I will be submitting will come from my STEM Club advisor who can speak on behalf of my passion for science and leadership in the club.

Thank you for the help!
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Replies to: College Professor Supplemental Letter of Rec?

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1970 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sorry to hear about your internship going away. Letters from your high school teachers are generally preferred. Depending on where you apply, the college may not even take LORs from anyone except your teachers. So the lack of the lab's LOR on your behalf isn't likely to be any kind of strike against you at all.

    Some colleges DO accept LORs from third parties and non-teachers, and in those cases, the letters will be taken into consideration. However, the college is going to work with what they're given. If they have a couple solid LORs from your teachers, they won't go seeking out a third or fourth to corroborate the first two.

    Always follow the college's directions. If they want two (and only two) LORS, do not submit three. If they ask for a STEM LOR and a humanities LOR, don't think you're going to be the exception to that rule. Show you are cooperative and can follow instructions and you'll be helping to present your application in the best possible light. Remember, the thicker the file, the thicker the kid.
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  • happy1happy1 22679 replies2226 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited July 18
    I would not ask the professor for a supplemental LOR -- since you did not work with him directly it would be hard to write anything meaningful. I would list the work you have done at the lab on your application and let that speak for itself.

    And I agree with the above -- most colleges do not accept more than 1 supplemental recommendation. Read the instructions for each school you apply to carefully and do not send more recommendations then they want.
    edited July 18
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