Sending a peer rec as an additional rec to Harvard?

My friend (a student at a state honors college), wrote me an amazing peer recommendation. Harvard asks for two teacher recommendations, a counselor rec (My Assistant Principal wrote mine.), and two other recs (One is the ED of a charity I have done a lot for my entire life, the other I am considering this peer rec). It says that a peer rec is acceptable. Originally, I had asked for it for my Dartmouth application, but now I think it is so good and shows my true personality very well. I am applying and my activities show a lot of political involvement. The peer rec mentions how we both were involved in politics from opposite sides and how I made her feel comfortable in her views rather than myself act dogmatic or close minded. Do you think choosing a peer rec is a smart idea? The person who wrote the rec is one of my best friends and she did a really incredible job.

Your last sentence is why I think a peer rec would hold little weight. And Harvard may allow two other recs. That’s not the same as requiring two other recs.

@Sportsman88 I know it says optional, but I feel as though it is not really optional. Nothing optional ever seems to be.

I understand that sentiment but that part truly is optional. You risk overwhelming the admissions officer. Pretty sure my D just sent the two teachers and guidance counselor. One admissions brief we attended, maybe Columbia, said only send an extra letter of rec if it really provides info not available from other parts of your application.

I think these two do. Both show different sides of me that my other recommendations only touch on briefly. @Sportsman88

It’s your choice of course. I can only speak for myself. If I was an ADCOM, I would discount a letter from a peer because of bias. I will say that the point about differing political opinions is a good statement. Do more research on the value of sending two additional letters.

Good luck.

In this instance, IMO, “optional” is truly optional. Just because Harvard allows 2 optional recs does not mean that everyone should send in 2. If the recs do not add value, and do not say anything new, then it’s just another piece of paper. At some point, the old adage will kick in - the thicker the file, the thicker the kid.

If I were an adcom reading such a recommendation, I’d probably roll my eyes and think “I’m supposed to be impressed that this kid’s best friend thinks they’re awesome?” Next…

I see no value in peer recommendations.

As @sherpa said, your best friends are SUPPOSED to think the world of you. All that means is that you have one good friend-- not exactly where Harvard is setting the bar for admissions.

I think you are missing the point of why I would send it. My extracurriculars show a lot of conservative political involvement. I want to ensure they see me as open minded and think this would help. Knowing that, are your opinions the same?

Colleges don’t want peer recs.

@itsgettingreal17 they listed a peer rec though as an acceptable rec? and another ivy (Dartmouth) specifically asks for one, so I don’t think that is necessarily fair.

Do what you think is best.

The consensus here is that IRS not a good idea.

@bjkmom I know which makes me confused because my college prep counselor (son goes to Harvard, sends students there yearly) thinks it IS a good idea. I think I will trust her; she has read the essay. It is a very uniquely impressive essay; the girl is a great writer. Thanks everyone for your advice even if I will not be taking it!

FWIW: The ONLY college I’m aware of that specifically requests a peer recommendation is Dartmouth – and Harvard Admissions understands that fact. So, when Harvard says it’s acceptable to send in a peer recommendation, what Harvard is really saying is “It’s okay to repurpose your Dartmouth application and sent it to us.”

However, be forewarned: most colleges, including Harvard, do NOT care (or give credence to) what your friends think about you, as they are more concerned with what an adult in a supervisory capacity (teachers, guidance counselor, principal, coach, band director, boss) think about your maturity, drive, determination, scholastic ability and character. So, IMHO, it would be waste of your time AND a waste of a third LoR to send in a peer recommendation to any college that does not specifically ask for one. Again, IMHO, it would be far wiser to have your child send in a third LoR from ANYONE other than a fellow 17-18 year old!

I’m not sure why you started the thread. You have the advice of someone you trust. You’re comfortable going with that advice in spite of the opinions to the contrary stated here.

What were you hoping to accomplish with this thread?

I decided to submit a different rec from a group I sent an intern with. Thank you for your help those of you who were nice!

I think the peer rec is a fine idea. But I would have called Harvard first to ask if it is too much. I am sorry I saw this after your submitted because I do agree with you that a well-written rec from a peer on the topic you mentioned might have been helpful.

I do believe most people send two total.