The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

Dear Arden…

How do I get college recs?

“Dear Arden,

How would I go about getting college recs? What are some of the best tips for that?”



Dear College-bound,

I have some wonderful news for you: you are already on top of things. I didn’t even start thinking about that stuff until April. And so, you have some time.

I have some additional good news for you: most of your teachers will likely tell you the process for getting a recommendation letter from them. If it is the same as it was a year ago, your English teacher will also help you out a bit in this process. 

But if, for whatever reason, you don’t get that information, or you just can’t wait and would feel more comfortable knowing what to do now, here’s my advice:

First, make yourself a resume. There are plenty of examples and templates online that can guide you, but the basic things you need are your email, your GPA, some of your achievements, some activities you are involved in (including any volunteering), and your future academic plans.

Now, the next part may vary from teacher to teacher, as some may have specific ways that they want you to submit requests to them, but typically you would send them an email requesting a rec letter. Here’s a basic format you could use:


Dear [Teacher],

Hello! I was wondering if I could request a letter of recommendation from you? If so, my resume is attached below. [Any additional information necessary – may depend on what your teacher has asked you for or if you already know that you are applying to a specific program and want the letter to be tailored to that] Thank you!

Thank you for your time,

[Your Name]


Some teachers may also ask you to fill out a form. I know for a fact that, for counselor rec letters, you will need to fill out a Google Form. Nothing to be intimidated by, but something to be aware of.

Another thing you may be wondering about is who to ask for a rec letter. The best teachers to ask are the ones who know you well, so, if there are any teachers that you’ve had for multiple years, that’s a good place to start. Plus, if you know you’ll have them again your senior year, then you can wait to ask for a rec letter until then. Otherwise, I would get rec letters from your junior year teachers and ask them at the end of junior year. Some colleges may also allow you to get recs from non-teachers, like a coach or your employer. Make sure to take a look at the requirements for the colleges you want to apply for so you know how many recs you will need and who you can get them from.

Ultimately, just remember that, right now, you are actually ahead of the curve thinking about this, so congratulations on that. When the time comes to start asking for rec letters in May, you will be ready.

Keep up the good work,


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About the Contributor
Arden Berry, Co-Editor in Chief
Arden is a senior at Carroll Senior High School and is currently a co-editor in chief of the Dragon Tribune. This is her fourth year as a member of Dragon Media as well as her eighth year in choir. Sophomore year, she was on the UIL Journalism team and progressed to state in copy editing. Outside of school, she practices piano, plays video games and writes. She hopes to pursue a career in research related to the social sciences.