Recommendation Letters

    1. First, determine the purpose of the letter of recommendation. Is it for college admissions or is it for a scholarship? Are there specific topics that should be addressed in the letter?  Are there specific topics that should not be addressed in the letter?
    2. Second, decide who you should ask to write the letter of recommendation. You should select someone who has enough knowledge about you to fully address the topics that should be mentioned in the letter, has a positive opinion of you, has demonstrated writing skills, and is known for meeting deadlines.
    3. Third, identify the due date of the college admission or scholarship application and determine when the letter of recommendation should go in the mail to meet that deadline. Give the person you ask to write the letter of recommendation two to three weeks to complete and mail the letter so that it will arrive before the deadline. If you ask for a letter of recommendation to be completed and mailed with less than two to three weeks notice, the person writing your letter of recommendation may not be able to write the best possible letter for you.
    4. Next, communicate all of the important information to the person you ask to write the letter of recommendation. This person needs to know the purpose of the letter, the topics that should and should not be discussed, and the due date.
    5. Also, be sure to complete the Personal Fact Sheet and supply a copy of it to the person you ask to write your letter. The more specific information you provide to this person, the better the letter of recommendation is likely to be. Be sure to include on the Personal Fact Sheet information about all of your high school accomplishments and experiences.  Have you earned the Academic Award in high school?  If so, how many years?  Are you a member of the National Honor Society?  Do you participate in any extracurricular activities with the school?  If so, what positions have you held in those groups?  What have those positions required of you?  Do you participate in any organizations outside of school?   If so, what positions have you held in those organizations?  What have those positions required of you?  Have you done any volunteer work?  If so, when, where, and how much have you volunteered?  Do you have a job?  Do you have any hobbies or interests that have earned you recognition outside of school? Have you had any unique travel experiences or attended any special workshops?  If so, where did you go and for what purpose?
    6. Finally, check the box on the application or scholarship form that indicates that you waive your right to see the letter of recommendation before you give it to the person you ask to write the letter. A letter of recommendation will carry more weight when the application or scholarship committee knows that the student has relinquished the right to see the content of the letter.


ACT Update

  • ACT is committed to providing options and flexibility to ensure that students can test and schools will have scores. The organization’s primary concern at this time is the health and safety of students and its testing staff.

    As CDC and local guidelines for safety allow, ACT will offer its June and July national test dates as scheduled and will additionally provide makeup test dates for June and July. The makeup test date for the June 13 national test date will be June 20, and the makeup test date for the July 18 test date will be July 25. ACT will work with individual national test centers should they need to reschedule to the makeup test date and students will be notified in advance. Students may also make free test date changes from the June to the July national test date.

    In addition to the three previously planned fall test dates on September 12, October 24 and December 12, ACT will also offer a remote proctoring option for the ACT test in late fall/early winter 2020, allowing students to take the test at their home on a computer. ACT will launch the test-at-home option as part of its national testing program. The fee waivers ACT provides to students from low-income homes will apply to the at-home testing option, and ACT is considering other ways to address access and equity issues.

    April 27, 2020 Update