Writing a recommendation letter represents an important part of the college application process. Many educational establishments, including business schools, colleges, and universities, require letters of recommendation as a proof of student’s worthiness. Effective letters significantly increase students’ chances of getting into their desired colleges. If you are an applicant, you should select someone, who can provide a positive description of your character. However, if you are a recommender, writing a good letter may be difficult.

No matter who you are, an applicant or a recommender, a few good samples of letters of recommendation for college will certainly help. Owing to these samples, you will learn whom to ask for a recommendation letter, what should be included in it, and how to format it correctly.

Given that every applicant has a different situation, we will look at several scenarios that can be easily adapted to meet your needs.

Selecting the Person to Create a Recommendation Letter

A positive letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or another academic reference improves student’s admission odds. Other possible sources of recommendations comprise a mentor, employer, coach, community director, or club president. A college applicant should find the person, who knows his/her personality traits and achievements well. Thus, an individual, who has worked with a student or has known him/her for more than one year, probably possesses much information about this student and can write at least one page about him/her. However, if a recommender does not know an applicant very well, he/she may find it difficult to provide supporting details. Note that a vague recommendation letter might jeopardize student’s college admission chances.

It is also a good idea to choose a letter writer from an extra-curricular group or advanced course. This demonstrates that an applicant is motivated and willing to engage in learning activities outside the classroom. Although admissions officers take into consideration many different things, previous academic achievements and work ethic play the most important role during the college application process.

A Letter of Recommendation for an Applicant from an AP Professor

The following recommendation letter was written for a college applicant. The student asked her AP English Professor for a recommendation.

Why is this letter effective? In this recommendation letter, the writer underlines the applicant’s outstanding academic achievements and strong work ethic. Moreover, he discusses her creativity, leadership skills, and ability to multi-task. In addition, the writer provides an example of her record of accomplishment – a new project that she worked on with her classmates. Importantly, specific examples allow the recommender to support the key points of the letter.

Dear Admissions Committee,

Cheri Jackson is a young woman with exceptional abilities. As her AP English Professor, I saw many examples of her extraordinary talent. Cheri’s work ethic and diligence impressed me from the first day of class. I highly recommend Cheri for admission to the undergraduate business program at your school.

Cheri possesses strong organizational skills. She demonstrates the ability to manage multiple tasks skillfully despite deadline pressure. Together with her classmates, Cheri managed to develop an innovative novel as a part of a semester project. Currently, this book is being considered for publication. It should be noted that Cheri headed this project. Her leadership abilities allowed completing it successfully.

I must also indicate that Cheri achieved excellent academic performance. She is among 10 out of 150 students, who received graduation honors. Cheri’s strong focus, hard work, and the ability to overcome any challenge promoted her academic success. Therefore, she certainly is an excellent candidate for this program.

In closing, Cheri has my highest recommendation for admission to your undergraduate business program. Please feel free to contact me using the information on this letterhead, if you have any additional questions regarding this recommendation.


A Letter of Recommendation for a High School Student from a Debate Coach

The letter writer is a high school teacher, who recommends the student for admission to a business school. Importantly, the recommender is familiar with the applicant, since they both participated in the school’s debate team, an extra academic activity that demonstrates a strong interest in learning.

Why is this letter effective? The letter of recommendation written by someone, who knows the applicant’s academic ability and classroom behavior, demonstrates admissions officers the student’s dedication to learning. It also shows that the applicant managed to make good impression on the members of the educational community. Pay attention to the overall content of this letter that could benefit the applicant. The following recommendation letter highlights the student’s self-discipline and motivation. Moreover, it contains specific examples that serve to support the recommendation.

It will be helpful to focus on the format while reading this recommendation letter sample. The letter consists of short paragraphs and several line breaks that serve to facilitate readability. In addition, it should include the name of the recommender and his/her contact information, which helps it look legitimate.

Dear Admissions Committee,

It is my great pleasure to recommend Jenna Breck, who attended my debate class and participated in my debate team at Big Stone High School. Jenna is an example of an ideal student. Over the years, she persistently worked hard to achieve academic success, which allowed her to gain my respect.

It should be noted that the rigorous academics at Big Stone High School set high achievement standards for their students. Jenna successfully complied with the prescribed academic plan requirements and even sought additional courses, such as AP chemistry and honor’s algebra, to name a few.

Jenna also proved herself to be a confident speaker and a masterful debater. Owing to her excellent public speaking skills, she managed to win several rewards. Jenna’s valuable assistance allowed our debate team to get into the national tournaments. Her self-discipline and dedication ensured success in such pursuits.

Jenna has my highest recommendation for your undergraduate business program. I have no doubt that she will continue to demonstrate the same commitment in everything she does.

Amy Frank, Ph.D.
Big Stone High School

A Letter of Recommendation for a College Student from a Non-Profit Administrator

Applicants should often supply a letter of recommendation from an employer. However, not every student manages to get professional work experience during the studies. In this case, a non-profit administrator or community leader can write the recommendation letter. Keep in mind that volunteer experience is qualified as work experience.
Why is this letter effective? In this sample recommendation letter,a non-profit administrator focuses primarily on the student’s personality traits, rather than on his academic performance. The recommender puts emphasis on the applicant’s organizational and leadership skills, moral fiber, and work ethic. Such a letter allows admissions officers to understand better the student’s personality.

Dear Admissions Committee,

As the Director of the Bay Area Community Center, I had the pleasure of working with Michael Thomas over the past three years. During this period, he proved himself to be the most responsible and studious community volunteer. I highly recommend Michael for admission to your undergraduate business program.

Michael spent much time and effort on working with the members of the community. He also assisted in developing programs aimed at enriching the lives of people who surround him.

Michael possesses strong organizational and leadership skills that contributed to the successful implementation of these programs. For instance, the children of the Bay Area benefit from different after-school programs, while the elderly representatives of our community can enjoy grocery delivery services.

I am convinced that Michael’s boundless devotion to his community illustrates strong moral fiber. He is a trustworthy person. Therefore, Michael has my highest recommendation.

John Flester
Director, Bay Area Community Center