How does a Letter of Recommendation work?

I am interested in applying to several different universities. Most of them accept the “common app”.

I emailed a few of my professors asking for a recommendation. One of them has replied and asked me which college I am applying to, because they require different things.

Do I need to email him every college I’m interested? I want to apply to at least 5. I wouldn’t want to ask him to write 5 different letters. I am very confused.

Any help would be appreciated.

They should get a link from Common App to fill one out, and that one goes to whichever schools you choose.

Some high schools use the Naviance system to collect recommendations. Then, the student links their Naviance account to their Common App. and the recommendations are submitted to the schools.

You mentioned professors. Are you applying as a freshman or a transfer?

@dragonflies1 I forgot to respond to this, but I wanted to say thank you! This really helped me.

I think I have everything mostly figured out for now.

@vpa2019 I am in community college and am applying as a transfer student. I dropped out of high school in 9th grade, and no one in my family went to college, so I feel very “out of the know” on a lot of stuff like this. I didn’t even realize you had to apply to universities so far in advance, and now I am scrambling to try to figure out what documents I need to get together, and if I even have enough time to do that.

Some colleges have rolling admission, Arizona State, U of Pittsburgh, Penn State, for example; they are not too late for transfer students starting in Fall of 2021, do hurry.

Some schools have spring and fall transfer admissions if you miss the one for fall 21.

On the transfer common app there is a tab under each college’s program to invite the professor(s) or advisor(s) that will be writing your LOR. They can write just one letter to be used for all the colleges but you must invite them for each college you apply to. In other words they can’t upload the letter into the general college app system and it’s automatically sent to each college. Kind of a pain for them but they do only write the letter once, just have to upload it each time (although I did hear from a friend whose D is transferring that there is a way for professors to arrange for automatic uploads but that’s above my pay grade :wink:).

Good luck!

So with transfers you invite them to each college instead of just selecting which teacher’s LOR from the drop down menu for each school like regular applications?

Yes, the transfer CA is not as user friendly as the regular CA. Maybe because they assume people aren’t applying to as many schools? You also can’t get your transcripts uploaded if your school isn’t on parchment for example. The transcripts have to be sent to CA from the school and they upload them.

Fortunately most schools will accept emailed transcripts because of Covid but it’s still a lot more work for the admissions office to have to move the documents around.

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