College applicants face significant competition, and they must do everything they can to maximize their chances of admission. An essential part of the application process is sending letters of recommendation for college. Choosing the right persons to write them and making sure they are delivered on time is crucial.

An efficient college recommendation letter can make a big difference and help the candidate stand out and get noticed positively. The college letter of recommendation is a brief document stating the applicant’s main qualities and interests that make them the right choice for that particular college.

What Is a College Recommendation Letter?

A college recommendation letter is a testimony concerning the applicant’s capabilities, seriousness, academic knowledge and experience, and relevant activities. It’s the author’s way of endorsing the student’s efforts to be accepted to a particular college.

The goal is to prove that the applicant is worthy of providing extra information and personal impressions. Family members or acquaintances can write letters of recommendation for college, but the most suitable authors are the teachers; they can evaluate the applicant’s abilities and school activities and can testify to the field that best suits them.

Why Do You Need a College Recommendation Letter?

First of all, most colleges require or at least expect letters of recommendation; it’s a useful resource for selection purposes. But even if it’s not mandatory, sending a college letter of recommendation is advisable. The students need any support they can get to stand out, especially since competition is usually high and tight.

The presence of a college recommendation letter alone helps in the admission battle. If it’s a well written and efficient letter sent by a reputed teacher who knows the student’s performance well, it is even more valuable.

The committee may not even read every letter, but they will notice how many are present in each file, and who wrote them. So, letters of recommendation for college are essential and must be taken seriously.

Whom Should I Ask to Write a College Recommendation Letter?

Ideally, the authors of the letters of recommendation for college should be teachers, counselors, or coaches. They have noticed the student’s behavior and capabilities, the way they handled difficult tasks, and how they behave in social circles. That makes them the perfect choice to send such an endorsement.

It would be even better to ask a teacher that has seen the student perform in extra-curricular activities as well, as they can provide even more profound insight. Any type of team, program, or club activity matters, and the teacher or coach involved can vouch for the student’s character and abilities.

As a general rule, the more personalized the college recommendation letter is, the better. Generic references aren’t received that well, but a recommendation from a teacher that has witnessed first-hand the student’s extra-curricular efforts will weigh much more.

What Information Is Included in a College Recommendation Letter?

A letter of recommendation for college admission doesn’t have to be too long or complicated. The committee has to go through so many documents that they will most certainly appreciate concision and accuracy. So, one page or around 500 words would be sufficient.

The structure is also simple: introduction, two body paragraphs, and conclusion. The focus is on the quality of the information, not the quantity. Using a college recommendation letter template can make sure the letter is efficient. These are the main elements you need to include in a letter of recommendation for college admission:

  • A salutation section
  • An introduction, where you present your relationship with the student and give a brief description of their approach to academic life; you could also mention a few dominant character traits that are relevant to the admission process
  • In the first body paragraph, present the student’s character using more details, as well as a list of accomplishments or awards that you are aware of. This part should be at least four or six sentences long, so it’s where the most relevant information should be included.
  • The second body paragraph is an extension of the ideas presented in the first one. It’s also where you should mention any valuable extra-curricular activities the student had, as well as any examples of actual situations where you saw them behave in an exemplary manner. Depending on how many experiences you have to share, this paragraph can be three to six sentences long.
  • The brief conclusion has to summarize your endorsement of the student’s college application, as well as offer you contact information and availability to answer any further questions.
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The letter of recommendation for college admission is an excellent endorsement method and can really increase a student’s chances to be admitted to a particular college. Not only that, but for some colleges, it’s also mandatory to deliver letters of recommendation for college.

The teacher or counselor writing the letter has to make sure the content is concise and useful, so the best way to draft it is with a college recommendation letter template. CocoSign has created an excellent college letter of recommendation template, as well as many other efficient templates for all the documents you could need.


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