169: Recommendation Letters FAQs/Scholarship Binder
In today's episode. I'm going to talk about frequently asked questions about recommendation letters and in our scholarship tips segment. I'm going to talk about getting organized with the scholarship finder. Welcome to the scholarship shark podcast. I'm Pam Andrews your host as a college admissions consultant. I believe that getting into college does not need to be complicated off or confusing and paying for it doesn't need to be costly and you're here because you believe the same join me each week as I share advice on the college admissions process as well as scholarship tips. So let's get started with today's episode. Recommendation letters can be a bit tricky for many high school students because they know they need them but asking someone to write it can be really uncomfortable. So getting the best possible letter is really in the students best interest. So in today's episode, I've compiled some commonly asked questions from my students. These are questions. They tend to ask as we're working through recommendation letters and I just wanted to share my responses here with you. So the first thing I want to talk about is really why recommendation letter is so important so students listen imagine you want to buy a car off. Let's say you're working a part-time job over the summer and throughout the school year and you save some money and you want to buy that first car. Well you decide to do some research and you find that a friend has the exact car that you're looking for and that you really want now you could easily go to the store and find out every aspect and feature or you could ask your friend. So what do you think colleges do the exact same thing off? You can highlight your positive traits and your characteristics, but nothing speaks volume. Then someone else's opinion or recommendation. So don't get estimate the power of a good word of mouth recommendation because recommendation letters give insight into your personality as well as your characteristics and attributes wage that can lead you to live an independent successful Life as a college student. So the first question I'm often asked by students is what who should I ask? Well selecting a proper person to write your recommendation letter really is critical sometimes college applications will require a guidance counselor recommendation. And so you can't get out of that one and that that really provides Insight in terms of you as a student compared to everyone in the school. So they'll speak a little bit more generally in terms of the courses that are offered the courses offered You decided to take maybe attendance any behavior issues. That's that's very general. Not very specific, but you really should think about asking someone who knows you and when it comes to picking that person think about what it is you're going to major in now, if you know what you're going to major in this may be a really easy task if she pursuing a career maybe an art or music then seek a recommendation from teachers in those disciplines, you know, or if you're applying to an engineering program mathematics physics a stem program select of science or your math teacher, especially if you have a strong relationship with them that's critical, but now let's say you don't know what you want to major in then nah, she is really the relationship. That's how you're going to get a successful recommendation letter because just having a teacher that you like, but that teacher really doesn't know you or can't speak dog. Two particular specifics about you. They may not be an ideal candidate to write your letter. So remember this letter is really designed to be personal and you're most likely to get a personal letter from a teacher who knows you then from just your favorite class or one of the more in in air quotes here popular teachers, so don't be afraid to ask someone who knows you well now depending upon the college replying to it may be in your best interest to seek a teacher who is an alumnus of the schools that you're targeting that may add extra value because if they attended that particular school and you're looking at that school, then you know, that could add a little bit of weight to your recommendation letter because no one knows the school better than someone who attended the school. Another question I'm asked is when should I ask for recommendation letters? So yep. I say start early is the best path possible and by starting early you really want to start asking toward the end of your junior year instead of waiting until your senior year because the reality of it is in the senior year. That's when a lot of students are asking and your teachers are writing a lot of recommendations. And so you want a canned response. So if you're able to ask in the towards the end of your junior year, then that gives your teacher time throughout the summer to work on that letter and you know, they took it may be saved on their computer or in the cloud and you won't get that generic letter that many many teachers actually do right. So asked sooner than later.