Ok! So I applied to vandy under RD back in november, with the required counselor rec & two teacher recs. I’m sure my counselor rec was good, she’s wonderful and we have a good relationship. I read one of the teacher recs and it was pretty solid and my counselor told me the other one was strong as well. I wanted to submit an additional letter from my cross-country coach since I did cross-country all four years while dealing with a pretty serious injury. She loved my whole grade (there were 20 of us on the team this year) and I think she liked me a lot as well (she gives 4-5 awards to seniors, 3 of which are captains (I am not), each year and she gave me the award for “outstanding commitment” so from that and what I’ve heard about her other letters I’m assuming it at least isn’t hurting me.
Now the complicated part. I participate in the admissions team at my school, interviewing potential new students, and I do a write up of each applicant since my opinion is considered equally with the faculty interviewers. Because of this insight and how hard I work for admissions my mom really wants me to ask the director of admissions for an additional letter as well (this is now way after I’ve submitted my application). I think I’d be ok with asking her about this, my counselor doesn’t think it will hurt anyway, and she is a vanderbilt parent. However I now might have a big issue: my uncle is a vanderbilt alum so I’ve been talking to him every now and then about the school. earlier today my dad threw me for a loop when he told me that my uncle had offered to write me a letter of recommendation and he had agreed to it (without consulting me but that’s a different issue). He is an alumni interviewer so I assume he knows a lot about vanderbilt would be looking for and they might be more familiar with him than any random alum but also he’s my uncle–even if his letter was completely unbiased I don’t feel that it would add anything to my application. additionally, from what I understand from my dad since I haven’t spoken to my uncle lately is that he wants to mainly use my resume for the letter. also we talk on the phone a decent amount but he lives far away so we haven’t seen him for about 5 years (so all of my time in high school)
I would not submit both of these if I chose to do another letter because that just seems to be a ridiculous amount–at a certain point they have to get repetitive and are just creating too much work for my admissions rep. I’ve done a lot of research and can’t seem to find anything vanderbilt specific about family rec letters but my gut feeling is that at best it would do nothing for my application and at worst it might hurt me or it would do nothing and the admissions one would have done something more.
also to consider: I think my application is very strong, I’m in the mid 50% for test scores (1460/33) and my gpa is a 94.5 (this fall semester was a 96.5 which was my highest ever although I had a 79 in AP stat, everything else was high As (at my school ap’s are weighted with 7 extra pts for gpa)). I take 4 APs and took 2 last year and am very involved–my interviewer said that I seemed involved in a lot but motivated to do well in each of those activities and I think that is true–there is nothing on my resume that I’ve done just to look good.
thank you so much for reading this and I would appreciate any feedback!!