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Letters of recommendation (LOR's) serve to enhance the "personal" side of an application and share with colleges a student's participation within the school community, the classroom and within their living community. Some colleges out-of-state & private colleges request them. Please note that CSU's and UC’s do not accept LOR's.
(*In rare circumstances UC Berkeley may request a letter of recommendation from an application, but this request would be made by the university AFTER the application is received. No other UC's currently follow that practice). 
To check if the school you are interested in applying to requires a LOR, check out their requirements on the college admission page. 
Letters of recommendation are most likely to be requested by colleges from an alphabet counselor and/or one or more academic teachers. Historically, college admissions preferred a LOR to be written from an 11th grade teacher, but many colleges are flexible regarding the grade level the LOR is from. Be sure you know the letter of recommendation policy at each school where you intend to apply. It will be posted on their Admissions webpages.
A message to current Juniors: 
  • Reach out to 1-2 teachers to ask if they can provide your LOR in the fall of your Senior year (email is fine). 
  • Complete your resume in Naviance over the summer (so teachers and counselors have context of your involvement to help write your LOR).
  • In the fall, I will send you all the documents needed to request a LOR to a teacher and or alphabet counselor. 
  • Please keep in mind that due to the high demand of LOR's from teachers in the fall, allow for ample time for your teacher to complete your LOR and do not ask them last minute. 
  • Here is a helpful article on asking your teachers for a LOR.