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recommendation from trustee--yes or no?

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

  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,096 Senior Member
    One of my friends growing up got into Princeton with an 1100 SAT score because her uncle was a trustee. A trustee's recommendation can carry tremendous weight.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,261 Senior Member
    edited July 16
    I believe it may help and won't hurt, but please, please, please don't do it if this is not your son's number one choice. My H has done something similar, but for private HS, and it ended up one of the kids did not even attend. My H felt he used up a chit for a kid who wasn't committed. He now knows to ask kids.parents for his help with admissions, "will you attend if you get in?"
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,379 Senior Member
    edited July 16
    One of my friends growing up got into Princeton with an 1100 SAT score because her uncle was a trustee. A trustee's recommendation can carry tremendous weight.

    @HappyAlumnus I'm going to bet there was more to the story...AND this trustee probably knew your friend very well. What year was this also?

    This trustee does NOT know the OP's kiddo...at all. Not at all.

    And it sounds like the father keeps asking for,this favor on behalf of others.

    Sorry...I would not do this if the trustee had NO knowledge of the student.
  • millie210millie210 Registered User Posts: 352 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.

    It's only one year at one school, so no guarantee it applies in the present case, but The Gatekeepers says no. The president of some college called the president of Wesleyan and asked him to put in a good word for some kid with Wesleyan admissions. President of Wes did the favor. It didn't help.

    I can imagine it might be different if it were the university president's own kid or someone the president knows well and can can say great things about from personal knowledge. But "Hey, I know someone who knows someone who has a kid. I hear the kid is smart and nice. Please give his application every consideration." You could probably fill every class every year with kids whose parents know someone who knows a trustee or a big deal professor or a high level administrator.

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,524 Senior Member
    Seriously...you're the one in charge of admissions and you have one spot left...two otherwise equal candidates. It all comes down ro the letter.

    You get a letter from a trustee saying one of his employees has a kid he's never mret, but who he hears is a good kid.

    And you get a letter from me, talking about his aptitude in math, his work in the classroom, his relationships with his peers and his teachers,his work ethic, his work in NHS.

    Which kid do you admit?
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,343 Senior Member
    I would be disappointed in the trustee if they were willing to give an unknown kid any notice. I would be disappointed in any school that puts weight on who you know instead of who you are. Take that school off my list.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,059 Senior Member
    I would thank the boss for the offer and tell him you are willing to risk going it alone. If your kid is rejected, the rec probably would not have mattered. If he ends up on the WL and it's your son's first choice at that time, well.... you can try to have him meet the boss (even by phone) and have him write directly to him to see if he can help. At that point, the school will effectively have determined that your son is "good enough ", so the pull might help.

    A trustee at a school on DS' list offered to meet with DS and put in a word "which may or may not help" (trustee's words) if he applied ED or wanted off their WL. But absolutely only if he would attend. We never called in this favor - DS was admitted to a few schools he liked better.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 21,617 Senior Member
    If I were your husband's boss this request would lower my opinion of him. Especially if he has done it before.

    no no no
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,944 Senior Member
    As almost everyone as said, it's about how well the trustee knows the applicant and what the trustee says about the applicant.

    A recommendation from someone who doesn't know the applicant well is worth very little. One from a trustee who has never met the applicant is worth less. The trustee will probably give the LOR because it's easier to do that than refuse, but the LOR is going to say very little about the applicant, which telegraphs the fact that the trustee really doesn't care if the applicant gets in.

    A kid from my offspring's high school alma mater got into H a number of years ago. Lots of people get into H from the school, but they usually have more impressive gpas, test scores and ECs. Then it came out that her dad was best friends from childhood with a very famous H professor. Every year, they celebrated one holiday together with their families. They continued to do this after their parents had died and they themselves had married and had children. They also telephoned each other at least a couple of times a month. Sometimes, they vacationed together.

    So, the professor wrote a LOR that probably said something along the lines of " I have known this applicant from infancy. I've watched her grow up. She's voraciously curious. I'm discussed current events and other topics with her numerous times over the years and she's unusually articulate and very well-read. She's the daughter I always wanted to have. She belongs at H and it's important to me that she be admitted."

    It probably helped that (a) famous prof had never written any LOR for any applicant before; and (b) another university was trying to woo him away from H; and (c) he is one of the most famous professors at H. But the fact was, he actually KNEW the applicant, and that matters most.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,469 Senior Member
    @HappyAlumnus things that worked a generation or 2 ago do NOT work now. Things are much different than when you were growing up..

    No, it'll carry no weight. Don't do it.
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