Letters of Recommendation

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Requesting a Letter of Recommendation is a very personal favor that students are asking Teachers, and Counselors to write for them. As such, the requests should be made IN PERSON by the student and followed up with a formal request in Naviance. Recommendations are a HUGE task for both Teachers and Counselors. Especially in the fall of the Senior year faculty are inundated with hundreds of requests, and each letter will take at least an hour to write. Furthermore, the letters are written their own personal time, over and above their regular  - job - for no additional compensation!
    You need to be well organized when you approach a member of the faculty for a recommendation - make sure that your resume and questionnaires are completed in Naviance. Please make sure to ask WELL in advance (at least 3 weeks). If they are willing to write a letter for you, then you must confirm it by formally requesting the recommendation in Naviance.
    Once a teacher has written the recommendation, please do them the courtesy of thanking them for their efforts! 
    Important Notes about Recommendations:
    • UC's & CSU's do not require or accept letters of recommendation. 
    • Private colleges require both recommendations and transcripts. Most applications for scholarships & summer programs will also require them.
    • November 20 2020 is the deadline for students to request a letter of recommendation from any counselor or teacher this year. However, if you are applying Early Action with a November 1st or earlier deadline the last day you can request a letter from a teacher is three weeks prior to the early deadline!
    • The Counselor's Senior College Task List must be completed in order to request a recommendation from a teacher or counselor. Last-minute requests cannot be honored!  
    • Recommendations are intended to be confidential documents. Students/parents should not ask the writer for a copy. It is the writer's prerogative to allow students or parents to view the letter. Nor, should parents/students expect the writer to return the envelope to them for mailing C that is also the writer's prerogative.
    • If students need multiple letters of recommendation, they should use the same teachers/counselors for those letters as well!
    • If you have complied with all of the above procedures it is not necessary to remind the teacher/counselor of the deadline. With literally hundreds of recommendations to write each year it can be very annoying when parents & students are constantly following up to ask, is it done yet? 
    • Always send the teacher a thank you note for taking the time to write you a recommendation!


    Before requesting a letter of recommendation from a teacher you must have completed the following:
    • The Teacher's Recommendation Questionnaire in Naviance - this is not a generic form, you must complete this for each teacher you plan to ask for a recommendation.
    • Make sure your Resume is complete and saved in Naviance.

    printClick here to print the resume instructions for Naviance.

    • Make sure all of your Test Scores have been updated and saved in Naviance.
    • Make sure that you have moved all of the colleges you are applying to out of the "college's I'm thinking about" section of Naviance into the "colleges I'm applying to" page. You must do this BEFORE you submit your letter of recommendation request.
    • Make sure that you have selected the correct deadlines for each of your schools in the "colleges I'm applying to" section of Naviance.  These are the deadlines your teachers and counselors will be working towards. These cannot be artificial deadlines that you or your parents created. Only your Counselor can override a college deadline in Naviance.
    • Make sure your Naviance Account has been matched to your Common Application. 
    • For any schools that do not accept the electronic documents, you will need to bring the supplemental forms, along with stamped, pre-addressed envelopes to your teachers to mail them in. 


    Procedures for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation in Naviance:

    1. Update your list of "colleges I'm applying to" in Naviance
    2. Make sure that you have selected the correct application deadline for each school on your "colleges I'm applying to" page in Naviance.
    3. Please verify which of your schools accept/require letters of recommendation. For example, none of the UC's or CSU's accept recommendations, and even the Common Application schools have limits on the number of recommendations they will accept. So, do your research before requesting letters. Do NOT submit the letter of recommendation requests directly from the Common Application!
    4. You should complete and save a resume in Naviance that summarizes all of your activities for the last three years.   
    5. You should complete one of the Teacher Recommendation questionnaires in Naviance. For most teachers, you can use one of the generic questionnaires #1, #2 or #3. Ms. Litten, Ms. Lory, Mr. Sloan, Dr. Anderson and Mrs. Schultheis have their own questionnaires.
    6. Once you have completed steps 1-5 you should talk to the teacher in person to confirm that they are willing to write a letter for you.
    7. Now, you are ready to submit your letter of recommendation requests through Naviance, by clicking on the "Letters of Recommendation link" in the "Colleges" tab. Once that page opens click "Add Request."
    8. After clicking "Add Request" will select the teacher you want to request the recommendation from in the drop-down menu.
    9. Do NOT select the "all applications" option. You must only select the "Choose specific colleges from your Colleges I'm Applying To list" option, and check off which schools you want your letters submitted to.

    printClick here to print out full instructions on how to use the "letters of recommendation" request feature in Naviance.

    Naviance Video 
    Click here to view a Naviance training video on how to request letters of recommendation from teachers. 

    The questionnaire for Mrs. Schultheis is to be completed in the Spring of your Junior year. Once you have completed the questionnaire you should schedule a meeting with her prior to the end of your Junior year.
    • For all of who request a letter of recommendation from her, she submits them on Naviance. If your schools are all common application schools, she will not need to meet with you again. You will not need you to provide her with any forms or envelopes. 
    • If one or more of your colleges are not common app schools, you will still need to bring her whatever supplemental forms they require. Bring in a stamped, pre-addressed envelope for those schools. 
    • To summarize, you do not need to meet again if your schools are common app schools. Mrs. Schultheis will take care of all this through Naviance. She only needs to meet with you regarding the non-common app schools.
    MS. LITTEN, MS. LORY, MR. SLOAN & Dr. ANDERSON   have created their own questionnaires in Naviance. Please make sure you have filled it out completely, and completed your resume in Naviance as well before requesting either of them to write you a recommendation. They will also expect you to follow all of the aforementioned Naviance procedures, and that you afford them the courtesy of at least 3 weeks advance notice for any recommendation requests. 

    To request a letter of recommendation from a Counselor
    arrowSCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR COUNSELOR  You must schedule your Counselor appointment no later than 10/30/2020!
    BEFORE your appointment with your Counselor you must complete the "Counselor Task List" in Naviance  You can access the Counselor's Task List by clicking on the 'About Me" Tab and then click on the "Tasks" link.
Last Modified on April 5, 2020