Hi! I’m a senior applying for some pretty selective schools selective Liberal Arts schools (including Wesleyan, Amherst, and Hamilton).
For my letter of Rec, I’ve already asked the Librarian who’s known me for 3 years and is teaching 2 of my classes (AP Research and Senior Capstone/Passion Project). I also asked my club advisor for Creative Writing Club (I’ve been in leadership for 4 years and she knows me pretty well), however I’m concerned that I didn’t ask any of my English teachers since I heard that you’re supposed to get one from a major subject area and it’s what I intend to major in.
I initially planned to ask my AP Lang teacher, but she moved away and while I have her contact info students have said that she’s slow to respond and turned in other letters very close to deadlines even with very advance notice. I also considered asking my AP Lit teacher, but the year just started and she doesn’t know me as well (though she is my advisor for another less intensive club I run).
I’m wondering if I should ask one of my English teachers and include the Creative Writing Advisor as a supplemental essay for the schools that allow or if I should just stick with my original plan.
Thanks for all your help!
Most selective/highly selective schools require two rec letters from teachers who have had you as a student in their classes. The advisor/coach of an EC - whether an “academic” EC or otherwise - would not qualify. It is also best to have the two recommendations come from teachers in distinctly different subjects.
I agree with @tdy123. In addition, highly selective schools usually want LORs from core teachers and many schools don’t consider AP Seminar or Research to be cores. Perhaps some would be OK with the the librarian, but I would be hesitant and try to find two core teachers. If you decide that the librarian is your strongest recommendation, I would really look hard on the schools’ websites or ask an AO to see if a non-core teacher will be valued.
Here is what Amherst says:
“ * Two Teacher Recommendations (English, Math, Science, Social Studies or Foreign Language)”
It doesn’t look like Wesleyan would accept the librarian. Also, as @tdy123 mentioned, they prefer cores teachers from different areas:
“The Wesleyan admission committee wants to see two teacher recommendations. These recommendations should come from teachers who know you well and who can speak to the quality of your work in the classroom. We want to know about your academic engagement, your curiosity, and your willingness to go above and beyond minimum requirements. Wesleyan prefers that one teacher recommendation come from a math or science teacher, and the other come from an English or social studies teacher. While this is not required, we feel that this is the best representation of you as a student in different areas of the curriculum and shows your fit with the liberal arts education we offer. We also suggest that teacher recommendations be from 11th or 12th grade, if possible.
Music, art or other elective instructors may write a recommendation for you, but they do not count as one of the two academic subject teacher recommendations.“
I would still use the librarian, if possible (maybe the GC could explain one teacher left, and one teacher is new) . If school websites state you need a core class teacher, ask admissions directly if the librarian who teaches two AP classes, counts. Do not ask a student answering the phone Or you can email an AO.
You can use the EC recommender (creative writing) as a supplementary recommendation (as Wesleyan states) or as part of a writing arts supplement with portfolio. (Only submit portfolio if talent justifies it.)
You need a recommender from another subject as well, if that is what the school requests.