Is 5 Recommendations too many?

<p>I know 3 are required (counselor and two academic teachers from my school). However, I wanted a 4th and 5th Rec. One from an Indian teacher (she has a phD and everything) that I met this past year when she visited our school to see how "America does things". She had an idea for this debate, so I went all out with it, and I taped it for her and sent the DVD back to India for her as a gift for her and her students to watch. We keep contact through email, fyi. I've also talked to a couple of her students via email. The 5th recommendation would be from my private quarterback coach (all of the coaches the past 3 years were fired, but I have the best relationship w/ my private coach, anyway). </p>

<p>So, that'd give me 1 counselor, 2 academic teachers from my school, and 2 "personal" references. Out of those 2 academic teachers, only one I have a really good relationship with...I believe the other one will be pretty generic. And the counselor one, isn't that just on the commonapp? Where he/she just checks boxes on the app and write a short write-up on you, the student?</p>

<p>I know Vandy says, "If students wish to submit additional letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, employers, or anyone else who can offer something new to the application, they may include those as well. We strongly advise that these extra letters offer additional information about the applicant, and we encourage a 'quality–over–quantity' approach", and I believe these additional rec's offer "something new", but...does anyone know if 5 is too many, or atleast discouraged by Vanderbilt?</p>

<p>i worked in the admissions office as a tourguide and student office assistant for 3 years... so take my 2 cents for what it's worth, but my personal opinion? i would shy away from sending any more than 4 UNLESS you know that the additional 5th one presents a COMPLETELY different perspective of you that would not be revealed in your other letters. I always think going "above and beyond" is good, but when these adcom's have to sit through and read literally hundreds and hundreds of applications daily, the last thing they want to do is read the same letter 5 times. id say 4 is a safe # but make sure that last 1 is worthwhile.</p>

<p>regaridng your specific scenario, i would shy away from the indian teacher's letter. (a) because they hardly know you... i think that your letter from a private fball coach shows that he would know you much better than someone you just briefly met and (b) just because they have a "phD and everything" that doesnt really equate to anything... i know a few adcom's personally and they agree that they would rather see a stellar recommendation from a teacher with an associate's degree than see a very bland, blah blah blah form rec from the principal, superintendent, a teacher with a phD or anything fancy like that. </p>

<p>hope this helps, and good luck!!</p>

<p>Alright. Thank you. I'll get all of the essays written ASAP, especially my coach's and the Indian teacher's, and then I can see what the rec's say in order to make my final decision.</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>

<p>I'm not familiar with the application format since Vanderbilt has gone exclusively to the Common App. When my kids applied, I believe there was a box where you could check to waive your right to view the recommendations. At that time it was my understanding that admissions counselors at all colleges tended to discount recommendations where the student had not waived his/her right to see the recommendation and have it submitted independently. I believe the feeling is that the writer is less likely to be forthright if the student will be viewing the document.<br>
I tend to avoid "chances" threads, but I think VandyManiac is giving you excellent advice.</p>

<p>Oh okay. Well, I'll be visiting Vandy pretty soon so I'll ask a couple of admissions people about this. </p>

<p>Plus, I wonder if it'll be "more" okay if I did 5 rec's considering I'll be applying ED and they won't have as many app's to review.</p>

<p>Waiving your rights does not mean that the student cannot see the letters if the teachers/recommenders so choose. It merely means that the student cannot demand to see the letters, as a matter of right, if the teacher/recommender does not want him or her to see it.</p>

True, but many recommenders are uncomfortable writing letters that are returned to the student. I am frequently asked to write letters for students transferring from the cc where I teach as part of scholarship applications. When students tell me they will come pick them up, I tell that it is my custom to send the letter directly to the college's scholarship office. Both kids had some teachers who provided a copy of their recommendation letter to them after providing the original to guidance to mail to colleges, but some were never seen.</p>