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What is best salutation for rec letter?

speckledeggspeckledegg Registered User Posts: 366 Member
edited October 2009 in Parents Forum
My son has asked someone to write a recommendation letter on his behalf. This person is involved in my son's main EC which is outside of school. The recommendation will be in the format of a letter, and will be in addition to the two teacher evaluations required by the common app.

My question is, can the recommender use "Dear Sir or Madam" or should the letters be personally addressed to the dean of admissions or regional adcom at each school?

Also, should the recommender include any specific info on the document to make it easier for the college to file the letter accurately? For instance, should there be a heading at the top with my son's name, name of high school, and possibly other info?

Thank you.
Post edited by speckledegg on

Replies to: What is best salutation for rec letter?

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "To Whom it May Concern" is fine because it's normal for the same recommendation letter to be copied and sent to several different places.

    No special heading is needed, but early in the body of the letter, it certainly should provide your son's name and high school.
  • EngProfMomEngProfMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    If it's a rec letter about Admissions, "Dear Admissions Committee Representative." This leaves no doubt that what the letter is relates specifically to College/University admissions.

    My favorite salutation for formal letters is what the French use: "Cher Colleague," but that's not the same situation.
  • Mary13Mary13 Registered User Posts: 3,500 Senior Member
    A college prof I used to work for used "To the Admissions Committee" on the many recs she wrote (or "To the Selection Committee" if the letter was for a scholarship). She would state the name of the student and the school within the first couple of sentences, e.g., "Please accept this letter of recommendation in support of John Doe, who is currently a student in my Advanced Calculus class at XYZ University."
This discussion has been closed.