How many recommendation letters should students submit?

Anne Macleod WeeksAnne Macleod Weeks
Upper School Director
The Agnes Irwin School
It is best to submit two teacher recommendations from either your junior or senior year. One should be from an English teacher, and the other can be from a different discipline, depending on the area you think you may study. Your college counselor should write the third recommendation.

If you have another adult who knows you in an area that you would like to highlight, such as a boss from an after-school or summer job, a coach, a religious mentor, a scoutmaster, etc., you can add a fourth recommendation. It is also important for the recommender to know you well.

There’s an old saying in admission: “The thicker the file, the thicker the kid.” This means that too many recommendations can raise a red flag that the applicant is nervous that he or she is not qualified enough for admission and is trying to offset a weakness with multiple recommendations.

Note: Did you know you could win a $10,000 scholarship for college or grad school just by registering on CollegeXpress? This is one of the quickest, easiest scholarships you’ll ever apply for. Register Now »

CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Do you have a question for our experts?