It’s the year you’ve been waiting all your life for and it’s finally here. With all the “lasts” you’re trying to squeeze in, the last football game, the last Homecoming dance, the last Halloween party and the last yearbook, it can be hard to find time to work on one of the most important items on your list; your college application. While the Early Action deadline at Butler University is still another month and half away (November 1), it is important to start working on the application process as soon as you can.
For an application to be considered complete, you must submit the following on or before November 1.
- Academic achievement in high school (GPA, class rank, course selection, grade trends and strength of school)
- Test scores
- Secondary School Report completed by your high school counselor
- Extracurricular activities and leadership experience/potential
- Essay or personal statement
What you don’t see in the “required” pieces above is a letter (or letters) of recommendation. While they may not be required, we still strongly encourage students submit at least one or two. Why? When we receive your file and are considering you for admission, we want to know the whole you. We realize that you are more than a GPA and test score and want to make an admission decision based on more than those two criteria. That is why we suggest you submit letters of recommendation.
Here are a few tips for getting letters of recommendation:
- Ask early. Don’t wait until a week before your application is due. You want to ensure that the people you ask to write a recommendation have plenty of time to submit the letter.
- Decide who to ask. This might sound like a no-brainer. Yet, time and time again we see students who have asked the wrong person. You want to make sure you ask someone who likes you, knows you and can give you a positive recommendation. People you can ask: teachers, coaches, mentors, counselors, managers, club sponsors, etc. People you shouldn’t ask: your family.
- Provide the person with adequate information. We suggest giving a copy of your resume to those individuals who are writing your letters of recommendation. For instance, you may have a coach recommending you for a particular college. That coach might only know that you do that one sport. They might not be aware that you also work part-time, work on the yearbook committee, are SGA president and volunteer at the local homeless shelter on the weekends. By providing this important information, they can get a better sense of all that you do.
- Make sure they know what school they should be writing it for. Enough said.
Get more tips on writing letters of recommendation:
College Admissions: Recommendation Letters
Ask the Experts: Letters of Recommendation and College Interviews
College Insider: 5 Tips for Securing Recommendation Letters