How many letters of recommendation?

<p>Harvard's website states, "Should students send supplementary recommendations?
While we can make careful evaluations with required recommendations, we are happy to read helpful letters from people directly familiar with applicants' lives outside the classroom. Such letters are not necessary, however, and it is generally advisable to submit no more than two or three."</p>

<p>Does the "two or three" letters include the two letters from teachers for the common app and the counselor's letter? Or can I submit two or three more letters on top of those?</p>

<p>In theory, I suppose you could send five letters of recommendations -- 2 from teachers, 1 from a counselor and 2 from others that know you well, but that would probably be percieved as "overkill." Unless the 2 other letters can provide a "unique" prespective, I would stick with just the required letters.</p>

<p>After reading that it is "pretty standard among selective institutions" to "like to hear from a math/science as well as a humanities/social science teacher" in recommendation letters on a UChicago blog, I have some questions.
1. I have good personal relationships with all 3 of my teachers who are writing letters for me. I'm also involved in the math club, which my math teacher heads, and the swim team, which my English teacher heads. My math teacher taught me in Trigonometry / Analytic Geometry (freshman year) and BC Calculus junior year. My physics teacher taught me in AP C Physics junior year. In all 3 of the math/science classes, I was with mostly students a year older than me, and I did very well in those classes. My English teacher taught me Film Lit (semester elective) junior year and is currently teaching me in English Masters Honors senior year. I've done reasonably well in both of these classes 2 (A's, but not that solidly and with a good deal of effort in English H). Should I submit 2 or 3 letters in this case?</p>

<ol>
<li>Would you say the UChicago blogger is actually accurate here?</li>
</ol>

<ol>
<li><p>Go with the math and english teacher.. it doesn't seem like your physics teacher can offer anything in the rec that your math teacher can't</p></li>
<li><p>The blogger is accurate in that the schools want to see how you fare on both ends of the academic spectrum.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>if you were going to send an extra recommendation, where would you send it to? And as a hard copy?</p>

<p>There is an adage amongst ad com folks-- "the thicker the file, the thicker the kid." not necessarily so but, you get the gist. Always ask if the additional recommendations 1) adds something new that otherwise would go unstated and 2) whether it is worth taking the time of the very busy ad com reader to go over that/those additional letter(s). If yes, then send it-- if no or uncertain, probably not is my experience...</p>

<p>I spoke with a Harvard admissions officer, and he said that the maximum number of letters that an applicant should send is three: two teacher recommendations and one other recommendation. The teacher recommendations should be from teachers who can really speak to your personality, even if those teachers are in similar subjects (ex. Math and Science, or English and History). Obviously, as other posters have mentioned, it is ideal if those teachers are in completely different subjects. I submitted one letter from my Chemistry/Physics teacher, and another from my Spanish teacher. The extra recommendation letter should not be from a family member; it should be from someone outside of school who also knows you personally. I submitted a recommendation letter from the doctor with whom I interned over the summer.</p>