How Many Recommendation Letters Should Students Submit?

Three might be the magic number--but the most important thing is that your recommenders know you well. Learn more here!

Anne Macleod WeeksAnne Macleod Weeks
Upper School Director
The Agnes Irwin School
It's 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 high school counselor should write the third recommendation letter.

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. The most important thing is that the recommender know you well. But there’s an old saying in admission: “The thicker the file, the thicker the kid.” This means that too many letters of recommendation 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.

Not sure who, how, or when to ask for a letter of receommendation? Learn all about it here!

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