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When should I start asking my highschool teachers for recommendations for college admissions?

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Zemira! You apply for college senior year so I would recommend to give about two months to your teachers when asking for a recommendation letter. There is usually a deadline to submit your application for college, let's say the deadline is December (sorry it's been a long time since I've been in high school) therefore you want everything in before then, so maybe mention it to your teachers around October. Usually by junior year the word college goes around a lot and everyone kind of begins to think about things like applying and asking for letters of rec., therefore it's definitely useful to keep in mind a couple of your teachers who you feel knows you well and would write a good letter for you! All in all mostly you get the letters senior year but give them about 6-8 weeks before they need to hand it in; usually teachers will be good with handing it on time but they do have busy lives so if they have extra time it will be helpful!

Best of luck!

Thank you. Zemira M.

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Brenda’s Answer

As soon as you begin applying for scholarships and college admissions. Hopefully, that will be at least the summer going into your senior year. You really should apply for scholarships sooner. You may need letters of recommendation from teachers for the scholarships. Don't wait until they are in the midst of school and lots of other students are needing the same thing from the same teachers. Make sure you have made a positive impression on the teachers and have demonstrated that you care about your education and attended class with participation. It will help if you give them a resume of sort of all the things you have done while in school, clubs, leadership positions, volunteer as well as honors and awards.

Thank you. Zemira M.

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Candice’s Answer

I recommend asking your teachers mid-way through your junior year. It's always good to ask early because your peers may ask ahead of you and the teacher could have reached his/her maximum. Also, many of the teachers begin writing the recommendations in the summer especially if you plan to apply to schools via early action or early decision which tend to be due by November. Colleges will want recommendations from teachers you had in your junior and senior year (not really freshman or sophomore). Once you ask your teacher, it is good to give them a document that outlines what classes you've had with them as well as share what are your interests and other school related or extra curricular activities you have been a part of during high school.

Thank you! Zemira M.

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Lyndee’s Answer

Good evening!

I would say an ideal time is about 2 semesters prior your intended start year. Let say you are applying for Fall 2021, then aroung Fall 2020 or early Spring 2021 is good. I'm not saying that you cannot do it later; you can wait until a month before the application deadline, if that's something you want to do. However, students with preparation in advance will always have an advantage, especially when you apply for scholarship or special programs, where their qualification is first come, first serve.

Above all, it is essential for you to keep a great relationship with your professor. Which means, you should not just came up upon your teacher and randomly ask for a recommendation letter. They're most likely not going to do it. Even if they do, they won't have that background of yours in their mind to generate a really effective recommendation letter. After all, recommendation letter can also be considered a tool to showcase your strenghts with authorization from a supervisor. Your teacher cannot help you fully demonstrate your strenghts if you never show it to them.

I hope all of this make sense and somehow help you.

Yes, thank you for the advice! Zemira M.

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Morgan’s Answer

I'd definitely go with during the summer before your senior year or within the first few weeks of your senior year. Yes, you can definitely wait until 6 weeks before your apps are due, but every other student in your grade will be doing that. Asking way in advance means your teachers aren't already overwhelmed with other letters. They'll be more likely to put special attention into your letters if yours is the only one they're writing (plus it eases their workload later on!).

On a related note, I'd also advise getting your college apps wrapped up around that same time period! I finished my college apps wayyy ahead of deadline (wrote my essays over the summer), and it made my life SO much easier come fall. While all of my friends were rushing to both fill out their apps and keep up with schoolwork, I was able to focus on my classes and enjoying my last year of high school. It was a major weight off of my shoulders that I really appreciated come deadlines.

Much appreciated! Zemira M.

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Estelle’s Answer

Early is always better. Make a list of teachers that you would like to ask during your junior year, and then provide those teachers with your resume at the end of your junior year when you ask them for the letter.
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