Teacher recommendations, what are they worth?

A growing number of admissions officers from many selective universities in the US are expressing concerns about the value of teacher recommendations. As the number of applicants to American universities increases, high school teachers and counselors are becoming swamped with recommendation requests.

The result?

Bland and generic recommendation letters that tell admissions officers what they already know through the student’s application. Colleges that have put a strong emphasis on teacher recommendations to differentiate students with perfect GPAs and high SAT scores are now having to rely on other sources of information to make their decisions. US News and World Report tells us:

“NACAC found that the percentage of colleges giving “considerable importance” to teacher or counselor recommendations fell from 21 percent to 17 percent from 2007 to 2009.”

What does this mean?

Roll up your sleeves and put your thinking caps back on applicants! Your admissions essays are going to be valued even more highly in the future.

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