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Letters of reccomendation for extracurricuars?

vedantj12vedantj12 5 replies1 threads New Member
Hey everyone, I'm a grade 11 applicant from Canada (US citizen) looking to apply next year, my main ECs are programming 5 apps (not special, very basic) and making video games (pretty simple too, nothing extraordinary) along with a channel about programming and a game+app dev blog. None of my teachers know about this. Do I need to get letters of rec from them talking about my passion for game + app dev? Also if I get 2 letters of rec that don't talk about my ECs will colleges just ignore them for lack of evidence?
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Replies to: Letters of reccomendation for extracurricuars?

  • vaevict1svaevict1s 5 replies5 threads New Member
    edited July 2
    @vedantj12 I am not really sure about the second part of your question, but programming 5 apps, regardless of simplicity, as well as making video games is awesome! I'm assuming you are wanting to go into a field related to programming so this would definitely show that you're interested and that you took an initiative, not to mention your blog and YouTube channel. Looking pretty good! Concerning the letter of recommendation, you could perhaps have one of your letters of rec to be from a computer science teacher or such who understands your passion and has seen that you are passionate about this.
    edited July 2
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  • vedantj12vedantj12 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for your response! What I meant to ask was that if my computer science teacher writes that I am a good student in his class, I enjoy the challenges that come with programming, but never writes "Vedant has shared his passion for game and app development with me, and has showed me his projects.", will adcoms think that I am making it up?
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3526 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Usually colleges prefer LORs from teachers, but some allow a supplemental LOR from an employer or coach. Read the application instructions carefully as not following them will reflect poorly.

    If your teachers don't ask for them, you might offer to provide a resume or brag sheet. If they think highly enough of you to write you a LOR, they won't mind mentioning your enthusiasm for your ECs and can help by focusing their letter on the qualities you ask them to highlight. Best of both worlds!
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Do I need to get letters of rec from them talking about my passion for game + app dev? Also if I get 2 letters of rec that don't talk about my ECs will colleges just ignore them for lack of evidence?

    No and no.

    Most places don't want extra LoRs! and, lots of ECs don't relate to school and don't lend themselves to LoRs.

    Step back and look at all the parts of your application- course selection, grades, test scores, ECs, LoRs, Essays- as pieces of a mosaic or a puzzle, each piece of which adds up to the picture of you, the student who wants to be a part of their college community. Unless you bring a specific skill or talent that they are looking for (not typical), selective colleges really don't care what your specific ECs are per se- they are interested in what those ECs tell them about who you are and what you bring to the party.
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  • happy1happy1 24214 replies2431 threads Super Moderator
    The teacher LORs should primarily be about your classroom/academic performance. They don't need to discuss your ECs.
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  • vedantj12vedantj12 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks a lot, everyone! This is a little unrelated to LoRs, but would colleges care more about the number of views and subscribers on my channel or the fact that I took initiative for something I love?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Somebody will always have a bigger # of views / subscribers. People who genuinely care about something take initiative more often than not. The key is not the facts, but the context of the facts.

    What is the underlying importance of a big number of views? validation that other people have reacted is the obvious part, but from an AO's pov, something that shows growth / commitment over time says that you are somebody who can stick with things (which you need to do to finish a college degree in 4 years). Something that shows how you responded to the rate of growth (fast or slow) could be interesting. etc. To get to that level in your essay(s) takes some thinking and re-thinking.

    As you do that thinking, think of examples- and then (to @Groundwork2022's really important point)- make bullet points of them for your recommenders as well. For example, from a problem with your channel, you work out that you enjoy troubleshooting when things go wrong, then you remember a time when there was an problem with an experiment in chem lab and your LOR teacher complimented you on how you came up with a clever solution. When you write up a sheet of bullet point reminders about you and your work for that teacher, you include 'strong at creative problem solving, for example when....'.
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  • vedantj12vedantj12 5 replies1 threads New Member
    So if I can show in my essay and LoRs that I am committed, dedicated, am unwilling to give up, and am an excellent problem solver, it will compensate for my low subscriber count?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    ok, so you went right by the main point.....Your subscriber count - high or low- is not going to move the accept/deny needle either way.

    Go spend some time on the websites of the schools that you are most interested in. See if there is an admissions blog. Look for videos from the admissions team. Etc. Colleges do actually try and let you know what they are looking for- which is generally students who are able for their level of academics, who are likely to be successful (in all dimensions- academic, social, community, etc) at their college, and who they think will add to the community.

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