College Recommendation Letter Template

When it comes to applying for college, there are many factors that admission officers take into consideration. Grades, extracurricular activities, and test scores are all important, but one aspect that can make a significant impact on your application is the college recommendation letter. This letter, written by someone who knows you well and can vouch for your abilities and character, provides valuable insight into your potential as a student.

In this article, we will explore the significance of the college recommendation letter and offer guidance on how to secure a strong recommendation.

What is a College Recommendation Letter?

A college recommendation letter is a document written by a teacher, counselor, coach, or other trusted individual who can speak to your qualifications and potential as a college student. It is typically submitted as part of your college application and serves as a testament to your abilities, character, and accomplishments. Admission officers rely on these letters to gain a more comprehensive understanding of who you are beyond your grades and test scores.

A well-written recommendation letter can highlight your strengths, showcase your unique qualities, and provide evidence of your potential for success in college. It can serve as a persuasive tool that sets you apart from other applicants and increases your chances of being admitted to your desired college or university.

college recommendation letter template
College Recommendation Letter Sample

Who Should Write Your Recommendation Letter?

Choosing the right person to write your recommendation letter is crucial. Ideally, you should select someone who knows you well and can speak to your academic abilities, personal qualities, and accomplishments. Here are some individuals who are commonly asked to write college recommendation letters:

  • Teachers: Teachers who have taught you in challenging courses and have witnessed your growth and dedication over time can provide valuable insights. Choose teachers from core subjects such as English, math, science, or social studies.
  • Counselors: School counselors can provide a holistic perspective on your academic performance, personal growth, and involvement in extracurricular activities. They can also discuss any challenges you may have overcome during your high school years.
  • Coaches: If you have participated in sports or other activities outside of the classroom, your coach can provide a unique perspective on your teamwork, leadership skills, and commitment.
  • Employers or Community Leaders: If you have held a job or been involved in community service, asking your employer or a respected community leader to write your recommendation letter can showcase your work ethic, responsibility, and dedication to making a positive impact.

When and How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter?

It is crucial to plan when asking for a recommendation letter. Give your chosen recommender ample time to write the letter, as they may have other obligations or requests to fulfill. Here are some tips on when and how to ask for a recommendation letter:

  • Ask in Person: Approach your chosen recommender in person and express your interest in having them write your recommendation letter. This personal touch shows sincerity and allows for a conversation about your goals and aspirations.
  • Ask Early: Give your recommender at least a month’s notice before the letter is due. This allows them to allocate time for thoughtful reflection and writing.
  • Provide Necessary Information: Supply your recommender with any information they may need to write an effective letter. This may include your resume, transcript, a list of your accomplishments, and specific details about the college or program to which you are applying.
  • Follow-up: After requesting the recommendation letter, follow up with a thank-you note and provide a gentle reminder a week before the deadline.

What Should a Recommendation Letter Include?

A strong recommendation letter should provide a comprehensive picture of your abilities, character, and potential. Here are some key elements that should be included:

  • An Introduction: The letter should begin with an introduction that explains the recommender’s relationship to you and their qualifications to write the letter.
  • Personal Observations: The recommender should provide specific examples of your strengths, accomplishments, and character traits. These examples should be detailed and highlight your unique qualities.
  • Academic Abilities: The letter should discuss your performance in the classroom, your intellectual curiosity, and your ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Extracurricular Activities: If you have been involved in extracurricular activities, the letter should discuss your dedication, leadership skills, and contributions to the community.
  • Character: The recommender should provide insight into your personal qualities, such as your integrity, work ethic, resilience, and ability to collaborate with others.
  • Conclusion: The letter should conclude with a strong endorsement of your potential as a college student and express confidence in your ability to succeed academically and contribute to the college community.

Examples of Effective College Recommendation Letters

Below are two examples of effective college recommendation letters:

1. Example of a Recommendation Letter from a Teacher

Dear Admission Committee,

I am writing to highly recommend [Student Name] for admission to your esteemed institution. I have had the pleasure of teaching [Student Name] for the past two years in my AP English Literature class.

[Student Name] is an exceptional student who consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic, intellectual curiosity, and a deep passion for literature. Their analytical skills are impeccable, and they possess a unique ability to dissect complex texts and extract profound meaning.

What sets [Student Name] apart is their genuine love for learning and their dedication to helping others. They actively participate in class discussions, often taking the lead in fostering thoughtful debates and encouraging their peers to think critically. [Student Name] is not only a brilliant student but also a compassionate individual who consistently supports and uplifts their classmates.

Outside of the classroom, [Student Name] is an active member of our school’s theater club, where they have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as the club president. They have successfully organized several productions, showcasing their ability to collaborate, problem-solve, and inspire others.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend [Student Name] for admission to your institution. Their intellectual abilities, personal qualities, and commitment to excellence make them an ideal candidate. I am confident that they will make a significant impact on your campus community and excel academically.


[Teacher Name]

2. Example of a Recommendation Letter from a Counselor

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to enthusiastically recommend [Student Name] for admission to your esteemed institution. As the school counselor at [School Name], I have had the privilege of working closely with [Student Name] throughout their high school years.

[Student Name] is an exemplary student who consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic, resilience, and a genuine passion for learning. Their academic achievements speak for themselves, as they have consistently maintained a position in the top 5% of their class. However, [Student Name]’s impact on our school community goes beyond their academic success.

Throughout their high school years, [Student Name] has been actively involved in various extracurricular activities, including our school’s debate team and community service club. As the president of the debate team, they have successfully led the team to numerous victories, showcasing their exceptional leadership skills and ability to inspire their peers.

What sets [Student Name] apart is their unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. They have dedicated countless hours to volunteering at a local homeless shelter, where they have demonstrated compassion, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to service.

In conclusion, I highly recommend [Student Name] for admission to your institution. [Student Name] possesses both the academic abilities and personal qualities necessary to thrive in a rigorous college environment. I do not doubt that they will continue to make a significant impact on the lives of others and contribute to the campus community.

Thank you for considering [Student Name]’s application.


[Counselor Name]


A college recommendation letter can be a powerful tool in your college application journey. It provides admission officers with valuable insights into your abilities, character, and potential as a college student. By carefully selecting the right individuals to write your recommendation letters and providing them with the necessary information, you can secure strong endorsements that set you apart from other applicants. Remember, a well-written recommendation letter can be the key to opening the doors to your dream college or university.

Access our College Recommendation Letter Template in Word format to support students in their academic pursuits. This template offers a professional layout with editable fields, making it easy to personalize for each student. Craft compelling letters of recommendation to highlight their achievements, skills, and potential, aiding them in their college applications. Download now to assist students in reaching their educational goals.

College Recommendation Letter TemplateWord

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