Should I have an alumni write a recommendation?

<p>A close family friend is a prominent UChicago alumni (he opened their Singapore campus) and has offered to write a recommendation for me. Should I do this, or will the admin see this as groveling?</p>

<p>Do it! Recs only help your chances. They won’t see it as groveling.</p>

<p>Don’t do it. Unless this person has been your instructor or supervisor – what can they say about YOU? Nothing beyond his “feelings” that you’d be a good fit. Basically, nothing meaningful. A first year teacher out of college, who writes for her star student with passion and meaty anecdotes will help that student’s application more than your “celebrity” will help you. Frankly, it smacks of “old boy” network and will, at best, be ignored, or at worst, cast you in a bad light.</p>

<p>Remember the purpose of a rec letter: it’s to introduce YOU, not to highlight the letter writer.</p>




<p>My close friend asked my dad to write a rec for him for Penn, my dad and I both knew it wouldn’t make a difference. What else can the alum say other than, “Billy has been great and every time he’s over at my house for dinner he cleans up after himself”. Unless you have worked for/with this alum their opinion won’t be helpful.</p>

<p>You should laugh at the offer and think about what it says about how gullible this guy thinks your family is. If he truly “opened” the Singapore campus (whatever that means) then he would have contacts inside the school and if he really wanted to help you would have spoken with them off-the-record to make sure your app got some special attention. And he never would have mentioned a word of it; he’d want you to believe you did it all on your own.</p>

<p>Given that he’s offered to act useful instead of be useful and wants to make sure he gets the credit for doing so its seems clear (to me at least) that he has something to gain from your family’s goodwill and figures you guys are just naive enough to fall for it.</p>

<p>Well I disagree with what’s been said. While he can’t talk about your academics, he can talk about your character. He knows you personally better than a lot of your teachers. Use him as a supplemental rec, not in place of another. If you think he knows you well enough, then having him write a rec will help your chances. </p>

<p>My dad’s written recs for my brother’s friends that were applying to his old school. They all got accepted.</p>


My dad’s written recs for my brother’s friends that were applying to his old school. They all got accepted.[/quote[</p>

<p>Implying correlation = causation</p>

<p>AP stats ftw</p>

<p>I’m not saying his recs were why they got in, but its the same situation and it obviously didn’t hurt them.</p>

<p>Extra recs couldn’t hurt. I think that if this alumni knows him well enough on a personal level then his rec would actually help by showing more of his character. Can’t hurt to try it.</p>