Can Teacher Recommendations Be the Deciding Factor in College Acceptances?

June 2017 / Cynthia S. West M.A., Ed.M. / Latest Blog


Yes. College admission officials want more than data points (Class rank, GPA, test scores) to evaluate your candidacy. They want to understand you as an individual—your values, what motivates you, how you look after others, and how eager you are to learn. Therefore, to strengthen your application, here are some valuable tips about getting strong teacher recommendations written on your behalf:

1) Who To Ask: Choose a teacher whose class you excelled in and who knows you well. Since the teacher will be providing insights about you to the Admission readers, it’s also helpful if the teacher has had contact with you outside of class—whether thru the Chess team, Student Government, sports team, or community outreach. The key is revealing your academic potential, character traits, and personality. Teacher anecdotes are particularly revealing and helpful to the Admission committee. Read More

How To Request Teacher Recommendations

June 2017 / Riley Billman / Student Blogger


Ask the right person.
There may be some teachers who you really look up to. But if you never had a meaningful relationship or did not do well in their class, then they may not be able to write the kind of recommendation letter you want. Carefully choose someone who can speak to your strengths that you want to highlight in your application. If you want UNC to know about your local community service, ask your nonprofit club advisor to recommend you. If you want to focus on your international interests, ask your favorite language teacher. Just make sure their recommendation can speak to the strengths you’re highlighting in your application.

Ask now.
Teachers have a lot to do over the summer and so many seniors will leave this request until this fall. If you ask now, your letter will be on the top of their to-do pile and they have all summer to craft a strong recommendation.  Read More