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  • Writer's pictureShelby Stewart

Setting the Stage for LOR Success

Hey high school juniors! It’s time to discuss a crucial aspect of the college application process: letters of recommendation (LORs) from your teachers. These letters provide colleges with valuable insights into your character, academic abilities, and potential for success in college. So, how can you make sure that your LORs shine brightly next year? 

1. Build Strong Relationships

First and foremost, focus on building strong relationships with your teachers. Actively engage in class discussions, ask thoughtful questions, and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for learning. Visit your teachers during their office hours or seek their guidance on assignments. By showing initiative and building a rapport with your teachers, you’ll be providing them with the type of anecdotes that make for a strong LOR.

At Orbit College Counseling, we often talk about how you don’t necessarily have to ask teachers whose class you have the best grade in. Sometimes the classes that are more of a struggle can be the better choice because teachers can use stories that display your determination, perseverance, and work ethic. That’s why we want to first think about which teachers know you best. 

2. Ask Early 

At Orbit, we encourage students to ask their teachers for LORs in the spring of their junior year. Teachers often limit the number of LORs they will write and asking earlier ensures you get your first choice. It also leaves the teacher with plenty of time to write a strong LOR without worrying about deadlines. 

3. Strategize 

LOR requirements will vary from college to college and student to student. You want to consider which teachers know you well but that should only be one part of your strategy. 

Depending on your college list, you may need two LORs, they may need to be from certain subjects, or you may even need to ask for a peer LOR (looking at you, Dartmouth!). Depending on your academic interests, you may want to focus on your STEM teachers, humanities teachers, or even drag in an elective teacher. 

If you’re unsure how to strategize, we can help! Contact us today. 

4. Provide Supporting Materials

As you request LORs, make your teachers' job as easy as possible by providing them with a copy of your extracurricular resume and a timeframe of when they need to have the LOR completed. Teachers often have “brag sheets” or surveys for you to fill out; take the time to fill out those out thoughtfully. 

5. Offer Appreciation

LORs are a time-consuming additional task that your teachers take on. Express your gratitude for their support throughout the process. A sincere thank-you note can go a long way in nurturing positive relationships and reinforcing your appreciation for their efforts.

By utilizing these tips, you are one step closer to setting the stage for LOR success! 


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