Letters of Recommendation

In last week's Monday Morning Message we stressed the importance of connecting with your teacher. One of the reasons we said it is important to build rapport with your teachers is for letters of recommendation.

When would I need a letter of recommendation?

Some colleges/universities will require letters of recommendation as part of the application process. When requesting a letter of recommendation from one of your Keystone teachers, or anyone, you should give that person plenty of time to write the recommendation.

It is common courtesy to request the letter 1 month before your application is due. You should also make sure the person writing the letter of recommendation is aware of the deadline.

What is Keystone's process for requesting a letter of recommendation?

1. Email your teacher or counselor and ask if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you.

2. If they respond yes, fill out the appropriate recommendation questionnaire. There are two questionnaires located in the Guidance Services course. One is for teachers and the other is for counselors. It is important to make sure that you select the correct form.
**Please note that the teacher/counselor have a minimum of 7-10 business days to compose the letter (this is two weeks!).

3. Send the form to the appropriate person once it has been completed.

4. The teacher/counselor will write the letter and send it to Keystone's Guidance Department.
  • If you are applying by paper mail, Guidance will mail the letter out. Fill out a college document request form and send it to guidance@keystonehighschool.com so Guidance knows where to send your college documents. This form can also be found in the Guidance Services course.
  • If you are applying through the Common Application, confirm you are entering the correct email address with the teacher/counselor and he/she will receive an email invitation to upload the letter directly. Make sure to ask your teacher/counselor if he/she is willing to write a letter before you invite them through the Common Application.

5. Send the person who wrote the letter of recommendation for you a thank you via email! This is very important and just good manners!

What does it mean to "waive my rights"?

Waiving your rights means that you give up your right to view the recommendation letter after it is written. Some college/universities prefer when students waive their rights because they feel this will allow your recommender to write a more 'candid' recommendation. This also shows that you have confidence!