Send additional (unsolicited) teacher recs to strengthen senior's application?

<p>Daughter (senior) has applied to 9 schools. All materials are in, including supplemental arts materials. Just got deferred from school she'd applied to Early Decision round II. We've been told she should now send that school more info to bolster application, reiterate commitment to the school, inform them of any new accomplishments, etc. We thought it would be a good idea to have a couple of senior-year teachers write recommendation letters, to speak of her work in senior year (since everything in applications is from junior year). She's arranged for her two AP teachers to do that, and we thought, why not have them send their letters to the other colleges as well (which are getting close to making admissions decisions)? If we're going to strengthen one application, why not strengthen them all? Is there any consensus on this? I haven't seen this addressed on CC unless I missed it. Our hesitation is that, except for the deferral college, these letters are unsolicited, we've already sent them everything, and would it help or just be annoying to those schools to be receiving more teachers recs at this late date? We have differing views on this in our family.</p>

<p>It depends how many recs you've sent already, and from whom, and whether the additional recs will shed any light on the application or simply repeat what others have already said.</p>

<p>If your kid needs to benefit from an upward trend and senior year is a crucial part of that, then a rec saying she is doing really well senior year my be a good idea. If she has a major EC or job for which she has not submitted a rec, then something from a coach, director, boss, teacher in that EC may be a good idea. From what I've seen, about 4 recs in addition to the GC is probably the ideal number, assuming that they don't just duplicate each other. I would hesitate to go over that number.</p>

<p>I wouldn't send extra LORs to other schools, only if she gets WL. If you D received awards then I would update those schools.</p>

<p>You should first talk to the Guidance counselor at your D's HS and ask if an additional letter is a good idea. If she is very familiar with the adcom at the ED college, it may be better for her to call her directly to help "bolster application, reiterate commitment to the school, inform them of any new accomplishments, etc."</p>

<p>When D1 was WL, her GC did tell her to send in another essay, 2 more LORS (one from her ballet teacher, and another from a teacher), and an update from her GC. When she was WL at few schools, her GC sent in additional information about D1. Her GC also called the ED school to find out why she was deferred.</p>

<p>Look at the other colleges' web sites for the answer. Some want nothing more after you submit your application and some accept additional information about senior year when mid-year grades are sent (and some don't). And The University of Georgia has only in an obscure place on its site that it wants only one teacher recommendation ever.</p>

<p>Our take was that if you've passed the deadlines you don't add more information to the file unless it was something particularly spectacular. (I'd definitely recommend telling a college that you were an Intel finalist for example whether or not you were past the due date.) But I wouldn't send extra teacher recommendations for the regular apps.</p>

<p>For the deferred applications they do usually encourage sending additional information - any awards should definitely be sent. If she's got great recommendations from the junior year teachers, a senior year teacher really isn't going to add new information. The expectation is that academically your student will be performing the same way senior year. If she's doing much better, suddenly participating in class etc. I might advise differently though. In general there is not much point in "bolstering" a message that's already there, but if you can significantly improve the message it might be worth it.</p>

<p>"It depends how many recs you've sent already, and from whom, and whether the additional recs will shed any light on the application or simply repeat what others have already said."</p>

<p>I think I would go along with this. At any rate, I would only send one, not two - but only if the LOR reveals something not presented in the other LORs or any other part of the application.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for your replies. It's been very helpful. The trend I'm hearing is, unless it adds something really new or noteworthy, don't send additional materials (except for deferral school).</p>

<p>The question is, what counts as really new or noteworthy?
Clearly, a major national competition (i.e., Intel or USAMO) would count. But where do you draw the line?? Would you report a school-level accomplishment (e.g., being chosen as lead in a school play)? How about regional level (say, placing at district Science Fair or county-level History Day and proceeding to state-level competition -- and does it matter if you're from a small state versus a big state like TX or CA)? Does it matter if it's an individual versus group accomplishment (say, being chosen for a seat in all-state orchestra, versus being invited with one's HS band to march in the Rose Parade)?</p>

<p>Our thought process: would that particular letter make enough difference to outweigh the irritation caused by sending more than they asked for? We decided not to send.</p>

<p>I don't school competitions are noteworthy to update colleges about (unless you attend like Stuyvesant high school and become the AMC School winner), but I did email Columbia and Carnegie Mellon, my two reach schools, about winning a scholarship awarded by a local engineering organization that gives a scholarship to less than 8 students in the entire county. I didn't receive a reply from Columbia (not surprising, given that they probably receive a TON of emails a day), but I did get a nice email back from Carnegie Mellon, congratulating me on my scholarship and informing me that it will be placed in my application file, to be considered with the rest of my credentials.</p>