When getting a Rec from a Non-Teacher

<p>what should i get them to include so the college knows who the letter is about and all that? i figured the teachers knew what to do but i dont know about others</p>


<p>(sorry this was supposed to be in other section)</p>

<p>I don't know if you will read responses here, but Stanford's Application has an optional page for non teacher references that I think has good suggestions.</p>

<p>One word of advice. Make sure that the college will accept them. Many schools frown on extra recs and in some cases they can hurt you more than help you. The adcoms already have a very heavy reading load and they don't really want to read more than they have to. I would check with each school and ask them if a supplemental rec is okay. Even for the schools that say okay, it should only be from someone who can shed an entirely different light on you, from personal/first hand interaction with you like a coach, advisor etc. </p>

<p>I attended more than one info session where the adcoms came right out and said that applications with more in them than what was asked for automatically went to the bottom of the pile so be careful with what you send.</p>

<p>I've heard ad coms in information sessions say that if you sent more information than necessary ,they just wouldn't read that info. I never heard anyone say that was an automatic black mark.</p>

<p>I think in some cases it might be appropriate to have a non-teacher recommendation--depends on the circumstances.</p>

<p>I've heard/read, "The thicker the app, the thicker (dumber) the applicant," & that extra materials are seriously frowned upon unless they REALLY add a new dimension & have been previously approved by the U in question.</p>

<p>Of course, sometimes a non-teacher rec is not supplemental at all. For instance, when my step-grandson applied to college, he had already been out of high school for one year. In his case, I don't believe he supplied any teacher recs at all. In any case, he certainly supplied an employer rec. </p>

<p>For identifying information, have the recommender put your name and birthdate on each page (if more than one page). If your application has been assigned a numerical id (from an online app system, for example; or your SSN which many apps used to us, but many schools are getting away from), also include that.</p>

<p>My S submitted a rec from a non-teacher. In fact, it was written in Chinese. Seemed to help. It addressed his character, discipline, and motivation (at least that is what I was told :) ).</p>

<p>I wrote recs (as the kids' coach) for four HS seniors applying to Princeton, Yale, U VA, and Tufts (all four got in)...I didn't ask the kids if they'd gotten "approval" from their schools for the extra rec, but I know Princeton's rec form contained in its instructions information about how and when to submit extra recs...so I agree it's a school-specific decision. </p>

<p>I had no trouble figuring out how to format the recs...the kids gave me the info on who to address the rec to, and the address to which to mail it...at least a couple of the recs went with school-provided forms that asked specific questions...</p>

<p>Knowing these four kids, I have my doubts about whether these rec letters were "key" to their application success...all four had strong resumes and were each highly desirable by the schools they'd chosen...I did my best to write very personal letters that revealed each student's important characteristics, but my guess is the recs were nothing more (or less) than one of many components in a strong application package...</p>

<p>MIT also says they read everything. We thought we would add an employer recommendation and one from a professor for whom my son wrote a computer program. He's offered numerous times to write recommendations and I think he'd be disappointed if we didn't use them! I remember in The Gatekeepers there was a kid who sent in a ton of extra stuff that no one read, but he got in anyway.</p>

<p>Overanxious mom
I'm sure you spent at least an hour on each of those recommendations, and made them personal as well as strong. I think you are the exception to the rule.Those kids were lucky.</p>