Most undergraduate applications require two or three letters of recommendation. These letters should come from former or current teachers, employers, or supervisors who are familiar with your work and performance.
Get the tips you need to succeed

We know you’re busy, so we're here to take the guesswork out of financial aid, college applications, and how to survive college life. And best of all, it’s free!

Get exclusive test prep info now!

Since score matters, sign up and get our proven test prep tips & 40% off our test prep books. And best of all, it's free!

Petersons Free PSAT Sample Test
Free Sample PSAT® Test Questions & Answers

The PSAT® test is right around the corner. Our FREE sample questions give you a peek into the type of questions you can expect to see on the test.

Get Started

Academic letter of recommendation

For academic applications, letters from teachers are generally preferable to letters from employers. Admission officers are looking to supplement their knowledge of your academic performance and aptitude — gleaned from your transcript and standardized scores — with concrete evidence that you are a dedicated and enthusiastic learner that will enhance the college culture.

Most schools nowadays recognize the value of a dynamic, diverse student body and are thus eager to fill their spots with candidates who have been actively engaged in both academic and extracurricular activities. Your college letter of recommendation should reflect not only your participation and performance in the classroom, but also your initiative (for instance, through research projects undertaken, through leadership in group activities, and through active contribution to classroom discussions).

Seeking letters of recommendation

When you seek a letter of recommendation, remember that you are asking for a favor. Make the process as convenient as possible for your letter writer by providing context, direction, and even stamps!

Most importantly, give your contact ample time with which to write it. A hastily written letter won't have the same impact as one that's reasoned and well thought out.

Other elements of the admissions process
Don't forget to work on the other aspects of the college admission process as well, such as sending transcripts, taking standardized tests, and scheduling a college interview (sometimes called an admission interview) at the schools you're interested in.

Peterson's is YOUR guide to college information
Get exclusive information on schools, scholarships, and test prep

Log in to Peterson's

Forgot your password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.

{{SchoolName}}

I certify that I am the subscriber to the provided cellular or other wireless number and I authorize {{SchoolName}} and its representatives and agents to contact me regarding educational opportunities at any current and future numbers that I provide for my cellular telephone or other wireless device using automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded messages, and/or SMS text messages, even if I will be charged by my service provider(s) for receiving such communications. Consent is not a condition for receiving more information from {{SchoolName}}, and I understand that if I no longer wish to receive communications, I will need to contact {{SchoolName}} to alter this consent.

Disagree Agree
Petersons Monthly Scholarship

Peterson’s December 2017 $1,000 Scholarship

Give yourself a gift this season by getting extra cash for school. Take 2 minutes to apply for our $1,000 scholarship

Enter