A recommendation letter can be helpful for both the scholarship and admissions committees with their decision-making process. It would also help any students who you feel are worthy of a recommendation that would give them an extra boost when they need it to get into college. Well, then here comes the big challenge of how to write a recommendation letter for a student.
The recommendation letters are confidential and usually come from the counselors and teachers who are most familiar with the student. If you are planning on writing a recommendation letter, make sure that you include any special assignments or projects that the student excelled in as well as why he or she makes a good candidate. Even though you probably will not be called upon, you should include your contact information just in case something needs to be confirmed or clarified.
How to Write a Recommendation Letter for a Student
Create a master sheet to pass out to students letting them know what needs to be included along with the recommendation letter. On the sheet make sure to include: the address of the school, the deadline for the application, a resume, a specific academic paper that the student wrote for your class, a copy of the student’s personal statement, the recommendation form and a waiver form signed by the student giving permission to the school to read your letter and all the information included with it.
Try to have the name of the person to whom you are addressing the recommendation letter. If you have not been provided that information, address the letter as follows: “Dear Scholarship Selection Committee” or “Dear College Admissions Representative.”
If there are questions on the application form fill them out honestly. If not you should include specific information about the student’s leadership skills, learning capabilities, initiative at the school and in the community, and anything about his or her character that stands out.
Sign off on your letter with all of your contact information and the best times to reach you. Include your department, phone number, and school email.
Go over your letter again to make sure there are no punctuation or spelling errors.
If you have a school stamp, use it to seal the letter, otherwise sign your name and date on the outside of the envelope. You can either mail it to the school directly or give it to the student so he or she can add it to their application documents.
Samples of Recommendation Letters for Students
College Recommendation Letter
To Whom It May Concern:
I am very happy to recommend Jane Smith, a student in my math
Ms. Smith is a role model for all of the students who know her both in her capacity at school and in the community. She has an eagerness to learn new things and is happy to share her knowledge with her fellow students. As a member of the Mathletics Team at our school, Jane uses her natural abilities and solid study skills to participate in competitions. In addition to her educational abilities, she is a member of the school’s soccer team and works as a member of our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
I personally feel that Jane is more than qualified for the early admissions program you have at your school. If you would like any additional information from me, please refer to my contact information below.
Head of Mathematics
123 Main Street
Undergraduate Program Recommendation Letter
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter of recommendation for Susan Wells. Ms. Wells has been a student of mine and as AP English Professor I have been able to witness firsthand many examples of her exceptional skills and I remain impressed by her tenacity and solid work ethic. I am happy to recommend Susan Wells for the undergraduate program at your school for business students.
Susan is a born leader and is able to not only multi-task herself, she can efficiently delegate duties to others in order to reach her goals in completing a project. Her fellow classmates admire her and rather than be intimidated by her dedication, they are inspired by her.
Her educational record is a testament to her diligence and proven study skills. She was able to graduate with honors and is in the top 10 students in her class. She would make a fine addition to your business program and will be an asset to your school and community.
If you need any further recommendation for Ms. Wells I would be happy to oblige. You can contact me directly using the contact information on this letterhead. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
Professor Priscilla Jones
For more recommendation samples:
- Make sure that you consult with the student to find out what points he or she would like you to include. Ask the student why you think they are worthy of the award.
- Type this letter on the school’s letterhead. Make sure that you do not make it sound like a generic letter of recommendation and include the student’s full name when you begin your letter.
- List specific qualities that you feel make this student a strong candidate. Interview the student to find out activities of participation you may not be aware or at the school and in the community.
- Make sure you address any direct questions that may be listed on the application for recommendation. Read your letter again before submitting it and if possible, have a colleague go over it as well.
- If you do not know the student well enough to vouch for them do not write the recommendation letter. Direct it to someone who is more familiar with the student and their achievements.