It may not seem like a teacher letter of recommendation for college will make any difference to your college admission chances. After all, you have submitted your high school grades and a personal essay. Plus, information about your extracurricular activities. That should be enough for admissions officers to evaluate your application. So why do colleges ask for teacher recommendations and what can they do to make a difference?
Why do colleges ask for letters of recommendation?
Colleges ask for recommendation letters written by teachers and mentors because they are looking for something about you that cannot be gleaned from your application alone. You may have scored the highest in your class and you may be a star athlete, but what about that other side of you—your overall personality?
Admissions aren’t just academics.
College admissions are not based on academics alone. Aside from your classroom performance, a teacher recommendation letter will tell the college a little more about your personality. How you interact with your classmates, how you engage with your teachers, what is your potential and so much more.
Your teacher can give colleges another perspective.
Your teachers or mentors would have been observing your work first-hand right through the year. They are in the best position to talk about how hard you work, how sincere you are, the progress you’ve made over the course of the year and how passionate you are about a particular program.
When faced with two equally good applications, it is the recommendation letter that acts as a deciding factor.
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