Letters of Recommendation FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some common letters of recommendation questions that we get from students during the college application cycle. This is the same information that we communicated to students and parents in our college information nights, college advising meetings, and during collaboration periods. We thought it may be useful to have this information in a cohesive and easily accessible document for your reference.

How do I get a letter of recommendation from my counselor?

Letters of recommendation are an extremely important part of any private university application. Counselors are required to write letters of recommendation for each student that indicates that they will be applying through the Common Application or some other application portal for private schools. Students need to inform counselors of their intent to apply to a private university in a timely manner (please refer to the application request deadline grid below).

Seniors must turn in their College Document Request Form (bright yellow) with the required documents submitted to Naviance (the Student Self-Assessment, Parent Brag Sheet, etc) before a counselor will begin working on their college application documents.

If application is due in: Request Accomodation by:
November (early action/decision) September 13
December October 11
January or later November 15

Teachers must be afforded the same deadlines!

IMPORTANT: Once you have personally asked your teacher/counselor for a recommendation, you MUST add them to your list of recommenders in the Common App. Until you make this crucial step, teachers/counselors will not start your letter. Furthermore, you MUST add your teacher/counselor to the Common App PRIOR to the deadlines stated above in order to have your materials transmitted to your colleges of choice in time.

How do I add teachers and counselors to my common app for their letters of recommendation?

  • On the Common App, you can add teachers and counselors to your list of recommenders once you have completed up to the “Grades” tab in the “Education” section of the Common Application.
  • After you complete through the “Grades” tab, you can click on one of the universities you are applying to under the “My Colleges” tab
  • Click on “Recommenders and FERPA”
    • Complete the FERPA Waiver
    • Click on “Invite and Manage Recommenders”
    • Add both your teacher and counselor recommenders
    • An email will be sent to all of your recommenders

We are strongly urging you to complete this task in the Common Application immediately after personally asking your teachers for a letter, so that there is no delay in getting your recommendations completed and submitted.

Will we be using Naviance for requesting letters of recommendation?

No we will not be using Naviance for requesting letters of recommendation. Please use the Common App to make this request or whatever the private university application(s) requires (such as SendEdu).

What happens if I don’t get all of my letter of recommendation requests in on time, or if I don’t submit all of my materials to my counselor (such as the Student Self Assessment, resume, etc)?

As long as counselors have at least some form of written communication that you have a pending application, they will submit a letter and the official documents regardless of whether or not forms are actually turned in. HOWEVER, counselors strive to write the best possible letters for their students in every situation. If documents are not submitted in a timely manner or turned in at all, that will severely impact the counselor’s ability to write a standout letter of recommendation. Also, the counselor may not be able to submit your application materials (including the letter of recommendation) on time.

Should I wait until the counselor/teacher submits their materials before I send my application?

No! Your application should be submitted by your deadline regardless of teacher or counselor submissions.

How do I request transcripts?

Transcript requests are not needed if you are applying to a CSU, UC or through Common App. All other schools, transcripts are requested through Naviance as we send them electronically.