Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Stanford "Optional Reference" Letter

Cooldude11989Cooldude11989 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
edited August 2006 in College Admissions
Hi, I just had a simple question about the stanford app. on it, it says you can submit an optional recommendation letter. this summer, i did biochemistry research with a professor at University of Texas. however, this professor is not very fluent in English. My problem is, should i get a recommendation from him (he is a Ph.D.) or from my best friend who is a damn good writer. thanks for any help :P.
Post edited by Cooldude11989 on

Replies to: Stanford "Optional Reference" Letter

  • karuptkarupt Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    Your friend as in someone the same age as you? A fake recommendation?
  • Cooldude11989Cooldude11989 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    well it would not be a fake recommendation, because it would be a peer's. anyone else?
  • kyb0789kyb0789 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    It depends how poorly the professor writes in english. Use your better judgement. If you think he can write clearly and to the point then choose him. Asking a friend can be a little risky- but done the right way may be original.
    Admissions Reps know that friends are always positive of their own friends. It will obviously lean more to their friend's advantage. However, a professor's letter will be more objective and .. the word for it- fair? Seems more "real". Hope that helps.
  • Cooldude11989Cooldude11989 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    thanks kyb0789, i will consider your advice. Anyone else?
  • Golden BearGolden Bear Registered User Posts: 1,014 Senior Member
    How about asking if your professor would just sign a letter if he approved of it, so you can write it yourself. Many professors do this because they're too lazy to write it themselves.
  • current_studentcurrent_student Registered User Posts: 913 Member
    Teacher Reference Forms 4 and 5
    Qualitative accounts of your academic abilities are important to us, and your high school teachers are usually our best sources of this information. We require two letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught you in grades 11 and/or 12 in two different subject areas from among the following: English, mathematics, science, foreign language and history/social studies. The best piece of advice as you choose teacher recommenders is to choose people who like you and who will share unique examples of your academic strengths and personal qualities. We will accept a maximum of two teacher references.

    Optional Reference Form 6
    If there is one other person who knows you well and can contribute something new about you, you can ask that person to complete the Optional Reference Form. With this additional recommendation, the same important guideline still applies: we want to be impressed by what they say about you, not by who they are. A letter from a famous person or Stanford alumnus is not going to help us reach a decision if that person is unable to add new insights to your application. This is not required, and most applicants will not submit an optional recommendation. We will accept a maximum of one optional reference letter.

    maybe you can ask him to write it in his own language and then have someone translate it or something. but i guess if you friend is a good writer, then why not. i know a guy who had his girfriend write an optional rec for him and he got in. but that's one person. i don't know many, if any, other people that used the extra rec option.
  • Cooldude11989Cooldude11989 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    10 char bump
  • Venkat89Venkat89 Registered User Posts: 7,327 Senior Member
    your friend being a good writer doesnt help you because they want to know about you, not his writring abilities. if he can add a personal aspect to you about what you do outside of school, it may help. also, how well does the professor know you? if he worked with you side by side and can tell how you are in the research and work environment then it may help you. if he doesnt know you very well, it doesnt help to have him write a rec.
  • whoamgwhoamg Registered User Posts: 622 Member
This discussion has been closed.