Who Should Write my Letters of Recommendation?

Hi! I am a current junior starting to form my college applications. My college counselor has been talking to me about letters of rec, and I am a bit uncertain about who I should choose to write mine. I would say that I am a pretty strong humanities student, and I have decided to certainly ask my English teacher, as I perform quite strongly in her class, and she is known to be very good at writing her letters. However, I had always heard to get one letter from humanities, and one from math or science. My counselor, on the other hand, said that that is not very important. In my math and science classes, I have not performed as well and I am a little quieter, which may make it harder for my teachers to speak to my character, whereas in my history class, I have a bit of a closer relationship with my teacher and have gotten higher grades. How important would you say it is to have a greater variety of subjects in my letters of recommendation?

It’s not important to have a variety of teachers. Choose the teachers you like the best and that like you. In your situation, I wouldn’t get a rec from a STEM teacher unless you plan on being a STEM major. Also, make sure to check any requirements that your schools may have for recs because I know some people that had to get certain teachers depending on their major.

My high school requires us to ask one humanities and one STEM teacher, and I likewise believe that variety could potentially be important. What colleges interest you?

Just be sure you meet all the requirements/guidelines of the school’s you apply to

Yes, as mentioned above: every college might have differing requirements. IIRC, MIT requires a recommendation from one humanity and one STEM teacher, along with the counselor’s recommendation.

I’m not sure if this is allowed at your school, but D asked 3 teachers for recs: 2 STEM teachers who knew her well (bc she’s going into STEM field) and a weaker one from a humanities teacher. This was great for her because she hadn’t even thought about which colleges to apply to when she was asking (towards the end of junior yr) so the 3 letters allowed her the flexibility to mix and match based on what was required. I think in your case, two strong humanities and one weaker but positive STEM just in case might be a good choice.

Some colleges also allow an additional third recommendation anyway, so the third recommendation came in handy in those situations too as a little extra.