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recommendation from trustee--yes or no?

lauriejgslauriejgs Registered User Posts: 400 Member
Hi, wise parents. My son will be applying to a college that has a law school, of which my husband's boss is a trustee. My son does not know the boss, as he's in another city. My husband plans to ask his boss to put in a good word for our son during the admissions cycle. I wonder if this would help or harm him. I think he has a decent shot at getting in regardless, and I don't want to muddy the waters. Plus, the boss is affiliated with the law school, not the undergraduate college.

My husband already asked his boss to put in a good word for a family friend who was hoping to transfer to this college, and even though he did so our friend was rejected. That gives me pause as well.

Any thoughts?

Replies to: recommendation from trustee--yes or no?

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 5,108 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    Sorry, I have to agree.

    As a high school math teacher, I write my fair share of letters of recommendation every year. What makes them credible is what I'm able to say about each of the candidates for admission. I can attest to their intelligence, their work ethic, their ability to get the job done-- whatever.

    Simply knowing their parents tells the reader nothing about the candidate. And I think it implies that the candidate can't get any legitimate letters without help from daddy's boss.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,132 Senior Member
    If this person has NO knowledge of your son, his recommendation will reflect that. I agree...pointless.
  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,213 Senior Member
    It might be worse than pointless; it might actually hurt his chances.

    A resounding No.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,060 Senior Member
    No No No
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,936 Senior Member
    Two things:

    --If the trustee doesn't know your son at all then a letter won't do much of anything. Your H may want to ask the trustee if he'd be willing to meet or speak with your son before you ask him to write a letter of support.

    --I would only ask for a letter from a trustee if it is your son's top choice. You don't want to ask someone (especially a boss) for a favor and then not attend the school if accepted.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,548 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    No no no no.

    I would add that even if it worked (and it won't) what kind of message does this give to your son? Wouldn't he want to get in based on something about himself?
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,001 Senior Member
    Another resounding no here. It won't be helpful, and it's a bit disingenuous.
  • millie210millie210 Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    All of the above plus I don't imagine the recommendation of the law school trustee would really matter to the undergrad admissions office, even if the trustee knew your son well.

    Remember the saying, the thicker the file, the thicker the student.

    No supplemental recommendations unless the recommender can truly say something interesting, important and highly positive about the student that no one else has already said.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,595 Senior Member
    Only if the trustee knows the kid well. If so absolutely I'd play that card, but if the trustee doesn't know the kid than I would vote no.
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 2,951 Senior Member
    Does your husband's boss know the president of the university? If so a phone call made by a president to the admissions office can carry enormous weight.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,667 Senior Member
    Sorry for piling on, but agree, if the person doesnt know your son from Adam's house at, its not going to help your son's application.
  • PetraMCPetraMC Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    An enthusiastic, positive recommendation from a trustee might help but a reluctant, tepid recommendation would hurt.

    IMO your husband could talk to his boss about how much your son loves the school, ask advice about ED or whatever other questions he has--and just see if he offers to recommend on his own. Otherwise, I wouldn't ask.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,132 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    Does your husband's boss know the president of the university? If so a phone call made by a president to the admissions office can carry enormous weight.

    Weight for what? This might get admissions to look at the application when otherwise they might not...but it's not going to get an applicant accepted who wouldn't otherwise be accepted. And it's not going to guarantee acceptance.

    If your son is a competitive applicant for this college, recommendations from people he knows will make more of a difference than a call from someone who doesn't know your kid...at....all.

    I'm not sure why the trustee at the law school would agree to this. the very LAST thing I would do is write a recommendation for someone I have never met, and don't know anything about.
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