Secret Code in Recommendation Letters?!

<p>I don't know if it still exists but for boarding schools and top independent schools there definitely was a code. If a college advisor wrote at the end something like "I recommend you give serious consideration to Mary's application," Mary got dinged.That was not a recommendation that the college admit Mary. If the GC wrote "I recommend you admit Mary," the school was endorsing Mary, but she wasn't the strongest candidate from that school. If the school wrote something like "We urge you to admit Mary," it was like ranking her at the top of the list and saying she was the best candidate.</p>

<p>I may not have the exact wording but that was the general idea.</p>

<p>Son's school could not break getting kids iinto the Ivy league. His frustrated counselor called a neighboring district that had many kids getting into Ivy's. That counselor told him that top schools that year really liked to see the descriptive term "....." in recomendations. Seriously , that is what the successful school counselor told another.</p>

<p>My son is an Aspie, and while some people have called him quirky, I think he just is a divergent thinker.</p>

<p>OP: I think the best recommendations are those that show-don't-tell: explain the candidate by way of anecdotes rather than by descriptives. You'll notice that link to MIT had quite a few examples and the ones that had examples and vignettes were preferred.</p>

<p>MmeZeeZee: what did you mean by this statement: of whom I would be one, technically, if only I were depressed, which I am not. Are you saying all Aspies are depressed? Actually, that's not one of the criteria at all. See this for correct criteria:
[quote]
DSM</a> IV Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger's Syndrome

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
[quote]
That counselor told him that top schools that year really liked to see the descriptive term "....." in recomendations.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Maybe it's like that Groucho Marx TV show, You Bet Your Life, where your kid gets a coveted acceptance if you say the magic word in your recommendation letter. LOL!</p>

<p>Secret code? Bah, I doubt it. Here's an excerpt from one of my recommendations:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Dear Admissions Committee,
Ordinarily, I would not write such a letter, However, I have
never before had a student like Billy, so I felt the need to
order my thoughts and send them off to you. It is my pleasure
to tell you what kind of student he is. Beyond any standards
an academician such as myself could set, Billy shows potential
curbed only by human limitations. Could he be better? He could not.
Could I recommend him more? I could not. As the best student I've
ever had, it is my pleasure to fully recommend him. A joy in class,
precious is how I would describe his intellect. As a tenured
teacher, I can honestly say...

[/quote]

And it goes on like that. I don't see any "secret code," that's silly.</p>

<p>Hope it was obvious enough.</p>

<p>BillyMc, given your decision to share that excerpt from your recommendation, you are apparently quite a humble fellow as well.</p>

<p>LOL, I think if people stay away from words that can have either a positive or negative interpretation all is good. Quirky - could be cute different or wierd different. Perfectionist - could be negative, meaning person can't make a decision or finish things or could be a good thing, careful detail oriented. And BillyMc...I might have gotten hung up on the concept of "precious intellect" and wondered why the teacher chose that particular word... could go either way....</p>

<p>My D once applied to a selective humanities/leadership program at an engineering college. She asked her hs English teacher to write a recommendation. I was impressed that he remembered an especially good essay from the prior year and included details. </p>

<p>There was also a blurb that may be common but I hadn't run across.... he said if the reviewers had any doubt about accepting her to the program, they should call him (he provided phone#) and give him a chance to provide more input.</p>

<p>
[quote]
BillyMc, given your decision to share that excerpt from your recommendation, you are apparently quite a humble fellow as well.

[/quote]

I made it up, and put "Hope it was obvious enough." in white at the bottom.</p>

<p>The "recommendation" conceals a secret code. Down the side, it reads, "DOnotacCept."</p>

<p>I was joking.</p>

<p>Yes, I know, Billy--I was just joining in the fun. :)</p>