College Recommendation Letter

A College Recommendation Letter is an official form that promotes the successful admission of an applicant. This is a short and informative paper. The filler, who is the applicant’s teacher or employer, must provide the letter of recommendation not in a freeway but according to specific requirements.

Strict requirements have their benefits. A consistent presentation can cause difficulties in praising a person, which is what the form is designed for. It also facilitates the perception of the person who will read the form.

This article explains how to write a letter of recommendation for a student. We have considered the key issues related to the application. After reading the review, it will be much easier to fill out free letter of recommendation for student template. Let us start with a bit of theory and finish with the samples. You will find three examples of this genre at the very bottom of the article. Read them to understand the structure and types of school recommendation letters.

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What the Recommendation is Aimed at

A student recommendation letter is used when an applicant submits documents for admission to a higher school. Many colleges explicitly require a letter of recommendation to understand the applicant’s social track before admission. The recommendation letter must be submitted together with the application for admission is submitted, so please keep an eye on the deadline at the chosen institution.

The key questions that the letter covers relate both to academic and social skills. What are the person’s educational achievements? What are their collective abilities? Do they have a distinct interest in the faculty’s research interests? Maybe they have extra pieces in their portfolio? All these facts improve the applicant’s position. Even if the admissions office does not require letters of recommendation for school, you can ask your teacher or employer to prepare the form. It shows that you can get support, and this is an advantage.

A special type of recommendation is a letter from a college alumnus where the applicant wants to enroll. Generally, an alumnus (unless they are the applicant’s permanent teacher) cannot write a detailed letter. Nevertheless, their status is important. An alumnus can refer to the opinion of parents, teachers, or the school administration. In this letter, it does especially matter to highlight how long the writer has known the applicant and indicate the alumnus’  connection with the college.

All the points that the author must specify in the letter of recommendation are listed on the official website of the University of California, Berkeley. The university administration draws attention to the fact that the letter is a desirable but optional form in the applicant’s documents package.

If you are a student, do not hesitate to request your teacher (coach) to prepare a recommendation letter. You can submit several recommendation forms at once from different authors who know your specific merits and virtues. Ask people who have known you for a long time and appreciate your academic or managerial skills. Prefer quality to quantity!

Content of the Recommendation Letter

College reference letters must be convincing and credible. In other words, the letter shows that the filler is a real person and their relationship with the applicant took place. Therefore, the following points determine the content of the letters:

  1. The character and duration of the relationship between the filler and the applicant. Specify how long you have known the person you are writing about, and specify your status (teacher, coach, manager, etc.).
  2. Key positive traits that set this student apart from the rest. This can be a deep interest in a particular subject, the ability to combine different classes, and the ability to communicate with classmates and teachers.
  3. Specific cases that prove that all the arguments are really true. Give life anecdotes when you were convinced of the applicant’s abilities.

The applicant should contact the teacher or coach who knows them well and is ready to emphasize the positive features in the recommendation letter. It is good to ask a person who has known you for a long time. This will show the admissions committee that the positive qualities, traits, and habits indicated are your permanent property.

How to Write the College Recommendation Letter

The recommendation letter contains four parts, namely the introduction, the conclusion, and the two main paragraphs in the middle. The structure allows the writer to fully reveal the applicant’s character and academic abilities and to support the main arguments with examples.

Roughly speaking, a recommendation letter repeats the general structure of any academic essay, but there are some details in the content. Read on to learn more about the sections of the recommendation letter.


Write your name, full postal address (including zip code), email, and phone number. Enter the name and address of the school below that.


The introductory part takes up to about 100 words of the entire text. It is aimed at clarifying the relationship between the writer and the applicant. That is, you must show your status as a teacher, sports coach, or employer. Identify your status and terms of communication with the current applicant (in class, in a sports team, school counselor, etc.). The optimal period for how long you have known each other is four to five years or more.

It is not necessary to adhere to a formal style. On the contrary, you should use emphatic phrases like “I recommend you with great pleasure” and “It is an honor for me to introduce this person.” You can also call the applicant “impressive,” well-disciplined,” and emphasize their “amazing progress” or “brilliant success.” Emphasize that you not only notice the applicant’s outstanding abilities but also observe their development over time. Do not forget to indicate how long you know the person you are writing about.

Paragraph #1

The first paragraph includes about 120-150 words. Here, you reveal the positive traits of your mentee. State the main points in the first sentence. For example, your student is organized, has a teaching talent, and is always ready to help their classmates.

Then support this thesis with arguments. Use both your own point of view and other people’s opinions as examples. Name the programs or activities in which the student has performed to confirm what is said. List all the achievements and awards they received during their studies. Show both academic success and personal qualities that contributed to this.

Paragraph #2

The second paragraph is equal to the first in terms of the number of words and covers the student’s relationships with other people, i.e., students, teammates, teachers, coaches, etc. This part is more dedicated to the student’s personal qualities and complements what is said in the previous paragraph.

Do not be afraid of sentimentality: this is the place to praise your student from the bottom of your heart. Describe their role in society and behavior in public; give live examples from different situations. Again, use both your own opinion and the view of other people who have known your student for a long time. Allow yourself to be a novelist and use bright adjectives, and they are the ones that hit the target.


The last paragraph should be succinct and concise. Collect all the characteristics here. Try to sum up everything that is said in paragraphs #1 and #2 in two sentences. Please note that it is very appropriate to make a connection between the college curriculum and the student’s traits. Leave the last sentence for your contacts, which you need to enter to confirm that you are a real person.


Thank the reader, write a thanksgiving formula, and enter your name again.

What to Do and What to Avoid

Before we get to the samples, let’s clarify what you should and shouldn’t do when writing a college recommendation letter.

What you should do:

  • Use bright adjectives and precise wording
  • Give real-life examples
  • Often mention your student’s name in the text
  • Follow the paragraph structure

What you should avoid:

  • Misleading characteristics of your student
  • Too poetic or vague descriptions
  • Lack of examples supporting the argument

Sample Letters of Recommendations (School Admissions)

Sample 1: Letter of Recommendation for High School Students

Dear Sir (or) Madam / Dear Admissions Committee,

I am pleased to be writing this letter of recommendation in favor of _____________ (enter full student’s name), the most talented and promising student. I have had the good fortune to train _____________ (student’s name) during _____________ (the period of your relationship) as _____________ (teacher / coach / employer) at _____________ (name of institution).

Through this time, _____________ (student’s name) demonstrated outstanding abilities in _____________ (subject or occupation). This is evidenced by the success of my student at school and regional competitions, where _____________ (the student’s name) has won prizes more than once. _____________ (Subject) is the main goal of _____________ (student’s name) academic occupation, but they are also interested in _____________ (subject(s)). There is no class which _____________ (student’s name) is not actively involved in. A striking indicator is the school certificate, where you will find only the highest grades. _____________ (Student’s name) talents are accompanied by outstanding diligence and assiduity, which allows them to occupy heights in the _____________ (academic or sports) field from year to year.

_____________ (Student’s name) is the life of the party of our _____________ (class or team). Classmates often turn to them for advice. Teachers assign him/her to organize events because he/she already knows that everything will be done perfectly. He/She always partakes in school holidays, and this class _____________ (student’s name) is always one of the first. It is impossible to overestimate the leadership qualities of _____________ (student’s name), as he/she always strives to take care of each member of their team and lead it to success. He/she always manages his/her timme competently, as evidenced by the progress in the academic field and in extracurricular life. _____________ _____________ (Student’s name) has been attending art school for many years, and their work has been exhibited at school and city exhibitions. An active attitude of _____________ (student’s name) indicates an amazing ability to both self-organize and communicate.

Without a doubt, every college wants to see _____________ (student’s name) among its students. Brilliant time management and the ability to communicate with everyone, along with amazing academic achievements, make him/her one of the best applicants. If you want to know more about the character or school results of _____________ (student’s name), please contact me by phone _____________ (your phone number) or via email _____________ (address).

Sample 2: Recommendation Letter for University Admission

To Whom It May Concern,

I am delighted to recommend _____________ (full student’s name) for admission to _____________ (university name). As their _____________ (teacher, coach, etc.) during _____________ (the period of interaction), I have observed a steady development as _____________ (a student or athlete, or both). Among the students of _____________ (the name of the school), he/she has always occupied the first positions in both academic and extracurricular life.

_____________ (Student’s name) is a wonderful, bright and lively person. Although _____________ (subject) is his/her main interest for them, he/she manages to get high grades in all courses. Unlike most other students, _____________ (student’s name) is clearly aware of his/her academic goal and has a future plan at the university. An unstoppable desire to know his/her subject as well as possible has repeatedly led _____________ (student’s name) to victories in school and county competitions, where he/she confidently took prizes. He/She so confidently proved his/her deep interest in the subject that the school administration decided to send him/her to a Summer school last year, taking care of the expenses.

Brilliant academic achievements are only part of _____________ (student’s name) activities . During _____________ (the period), he/she attends acting courses, which allows him/her to partake in the organization of school events at a high level. For example, in the last academic year, _____________ (student’s name) they performed brilliantly in the organization of the Homecoming Dance without distracting from the current educational process. This was appreciated by both the participants of the event, the school faculty and former students, and parents. Whatever _____________ (student’s name) does, he/she does it well!

To conclude, _____________ (student’s name) is one of the most enthusiastic and bright students I have taught in all the long time of my work. I never cease to be surprised at the combination of such qualities in one person, who can brilliantly perform at competitions and at the same time take an active part in school life. What to say, _____________ (student’s name) deserves to become a part of the_________________________ (name) university’s students. If you want to know more about him/her, do not hesitate to call me by phone _____________ (your phone number) or write an email to _____________ (email address).

Sample 3: College Recommendation Letter from Alumni

This recommendation letter addresses some of my thoughts about _____________ (full applicant’s name). I know him/her as _____________ (specify how you met and what kind of relationship you maintain) for _____________ (an indication of the time period).

Since I have indeed had the pleasure of knowing _____________ (applicant’s name) for only one term, I will only say what I could notice about him/her. _____________ (Applicant’s name) proved to be an observant and thoughtful student. He/She always asked many questions at the end of the class, which indicates a deep interest in the subject. I can express confidence that _____________ (applicant’s name) will become a conscientious student of _____________ (name of college) college.

As far as I know, _____________ (applicant’s name) took an active part in extracurricular activities, such as the chess club. He/She has achieved significant success in this, which indicates the purposefulness of a person and the ability to do a lot during the school years. I am convinced that during college ,_____________ (name of college) will be able to reach even greater heights.

Taking into account his/her desire to deeply comprehend the topic of the subject, I can say that _____________ (applicant’s name) will become worthy of college students. If you want to talk about (applicant’s name) in more detail, I am waiting for your call _____________ (phone number) or email _____________ (email address).

To sum up

Above, we have considered the main theoretical aspects of recommendation letters and also provided three detailed samples. When you start creating a recommendation letter, keep in mind the style, structure, and reliability of the information. These are three key points to consider.

Published: Jun 15, 2022