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Video transcript

- So when you're getting a recommendation letter, it needs to be from an academic teacher. So those are core subjects: History, Science, Math, Social Studies, Languages. When you have a recommendation from a theater teacher, director, or band leader, those are helpful, but they're not what we're looking for in an academic-required teacher recommendation. - I always encourage students to reach out to the teachers that know them best. Not the teachers that gave them the highest grade, although those might be the same people. But a teacher that knows you well is a great place to start. - Often times for teachers, it's going to be teachers in their most recent years. Their junior and/or senior year. These teachers can usually include specific examples or anecdotes about their intellectual curiosity or their participation in the classroom. - And it's always wonderful if it's at all possible to get that full range. So possibly one letter from a Humanities teacher. Meaning English, History, Language and so forth. Another from Math, Science, if possible. That doesn't always work, but it doesn't help to have two English teacher recommendations. They tend to say the same type of thing regarding your writing and your involvement in class. - The week before school, plan out on a calendar when you'll be asking your teachers, and when you'll ask them to send their letter. Give them ample time. I say almost a month. - Talking to teachers about the things that you would like for them to highlight is definitely a key component because as much as teachers are working as hard as they can, they're often writing multiple recommendations and so it's easy either to forget or even to not highlight those things that, or overlook those things that might make a very big difference in understanding the applicant. - What I recommend for students is when they go up to that teacher, instead of handing them a resume which sort of lets them know here's my grades, here's maybe my GPA, my SAT scores, and all my activities at the school, that's going to be in other parts of the application. Teachers don't need to talk about that. What admissions people really want from teachers is how is that student in that class? So what I recommend for students to do is sit down with that teacher. Maybe give them four or five bullet points of here's why I asked you. Here's why I really wanted you to write my letter or recommendation. - What are things that you want to make sure comes across that maybe you can't say, or feel shy expressing in the personal statement or maybe in the additional information section? - We are going to be looking at these recommendations to again see how they're going to contribute to our campus and how they're going to contribute to the classroom specifically. How they're going to get involved. And then sometimes we can also pull on things like their resilience and their excitement and love of learning. So those are all different things that we can gather from recommendations.