How To Write A Recommendation Letter For College

As a student, when you apply for college, it will require you to provide a recommendation letter from your high school teacher. Writing a recommendation letter for a student lets you bear witness to the student’s character.

Meanwhile, if your recommendation letter for college speaks positively about you, it makes you stand out from other applicants.

Not all colleges request reference letters but the majority do. Some colleges may request that you provide a recommendation letter from your math teacher, and in that case, you are only to provide just one letter of recommendation.

Some may even require you to submit two recommendation letters as the case may be. In that case, your high school counselor and one of your teachers will write the letters.

There are specific things that college admission officers look out for in a student’s recommendation letter. Below are tips and examples on how to write a recommendation letter for college.

What is a Recommendation Letter?

A recommendation letter can also be called a letter of reference. This letter demonstrates the behavior of a person to help them stand out from other applicants when applying for college or work.

The person’s high school teacher, mentor, or someone with whom they have professionally worked usually writes the recommendation letter.

In addition, this letter provides a summary of the person’s attitude, feats achieved, skills and qualifications. We will be discussing how to write a recommendation letter for college in this article.

How to Write a Recommendation Letter for College

Do you want to write a letter of recommendation for college but don’t know how to? Worry less because we have put together this comprehensive guide to teach you how to write a recommendation letter for college.

Follow these steps below to know how to write a recommendation letter for college.

#1. Get the academic details of the student

As someone who is learning how to write a recommendation letter for college, the first thing you should do is to get the academic details for the program and university the student is applying for, and also request for the student’s academic accomplishments.

These will serve as a guideline when writing the recommendation letter. Remember that your purpose for writing this letter is to help your student stand out and get admission into college.

#2. Ensure you address your letter to the right person

Addressing your recommendation letter to the right person is a unique way to make your letter look more personalized.

If you don’t know who to address the letter to, ask the student. But in a case where the student does not know the name of the person to address it to, you can address it to either the “college’s admissions officer”, “program director”, “head of the department”, or “admissions counselor”.

Sometimes, the student might be applying to a couple of colleges. What then should you do? you may ask. Well, keep it generic, but emphasize more on the person’s strengths, feats achieved, and goals.

For instance, if your student has dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer and is applying to a couple of colleges, your letter of recommendation should highlight a successful feat or award that the student has achieved that is related to mechanical engineering or science.

#3. Talk about who you are and the qualifications you possess

It’s never complete to learn how to write a recommendation letter for college without knowing that you should talk about yourself and the qualifications you possess.

Talking about yourself and your qualifications gives great confidence to the college’s admission office. It makes them trust your judgment about the student. 

Tell them about yourself and what qualifies you to advocate for the student. Additionally, tell them your job title and the subject you taught your student while in high school.

If you headed the high school club where the student was a participant, do not hesitate to include it too and talk about the student’s performance while in the club.

#4. Explain your academic relationship with the student

This is a continuation of the previous point. Tell the admissions office how long you’ve known the student and the role you play in the student’s academic life.

Also, talk about the student’s academic progress and how impressed you are about the progress, if the person was one of the high fliers in class, also mention it.

Explain how you’ve watched the person grow into what he/she currently is. Does the student stand out in projects, assignments, sports, club activities, and extracurricular activities? Explain them all in the recommendation letter.

#5. Tell them the student’s qualifications

Many times, colleges want to admit students who are innovative and will bring value to the college. Admissions officers want to know how the student will benefit their college.

That is why you have to highlight the student’s academic qualifications, explain their potentials by discussing giving examples of how they benefited your school.

#6. End your recommendation letter

Conclude your recommendation letter by reassuring your support and guarantee for the student and assuring your availability to the reader if there are further questions to ask concerning your recommendation of the student.

Include your contact information such as your email address and phone number so that you can easily be reached.

Doing this will make them trust your judgment about the student and result in admitting the student for the program.

Recommendation Letter Examples

Learn how to write a recommendation letter for college admission with the examples below.

Example 1

Dear ABC College Admissions Office, 


Craig Lawson has been my student for the past two years. I was his mathematics teacher and headed the young Engineers club where he was a participant. I am confident that Craig would be a positive addition to ABC College.

During his stay at XYZ High School, Craig was a very active student in the class and contributed brilliant ideas during club and extracurricular activities. As a creative genius, he always employed his creative juices during class discussions and club activities. Craig undertook daunting projects and achieved great academic feats in the end.

Craig is a high flier in the young Engineers club. He has undertaken tasks such as building an aircraft that flew in the air without being controlled. He was awarded the most innovative student of the year in 2018 due to his creativeness. His ability to put things in place and keep his workspace tidy shows how organized he is. 

There’s so much excellence around Craig’s attitude and everything he does. I am sure that he would be a great addition and benefit to your college. If you have further questions concerning Craig’s qualifications, do not hesitate to reach me at 444-444-444 or


Kyrie Kriss  

Mathematics teacher and Young Engineers clubhead at XYZ High School


Example 2 


Dear Mr. Crawley, 


My name is Ramsey County, and I’m very pleased to have taught an intelligent student as Gordon Brown at 123 High School. I’m heading the English department of the school and Gordon has been my best student this far. His drive to be at the top is worthy of emulation. He has been under my mentorship for the past three years and has performed excellently well during extracurricular activities. I strongly believe Gordon will bring his excellence into AAA College, therefore I recommend him for admission into your college.

Gordon has a touch of excellence in all he does and has exhibited strong leadership skills throughout his stay in 123 High School. He has always challenged himself academically and has so much flair for personal development and teaching the people around him. I’m truly impressed with his excellent presentational skills in the Media club of the school. 

A good presenter is well articulated and has good writing and verbal communication skills. These are just the right words to describe Gordon. Because of his high level of intelligence and leadership, he was made the senior captain of the Media club at 123 High School.

I am sure that AAA College will not regret accepting Gordon into their college. The skills he possesses are second to none and interesting enough to win Gordon’s acceptance into your college.

I will be available to answer more questions on Gordon’s exceptional qualifications. Feel free to reach me at 111-111-111 or send me an email at 


Ramsey County

English teacher and Head of English Department at 123 High School 


Will I be allowed to see my recommendation letter?

After writing your letter of recommendation, it will be sent to your school’s admission counselor and finally uploaded to the website where the recipient will receive it. Therefore, you cannot see your recommendation letter. 

How long will it take to write a reference letter?

There is no specific time duration for writing a letter of reference. As soon as the recommender is through with the letter, it will be submitted to the appropriate quarters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should write my recommendation letter?

Even if you know how to write a recommendation letter for college, it is not in your place to write it. Rather, tell someone who knows you very well and can give you strong recommendations to write your recommendation letter.

For example, you can ask your high school teacher who knows you well and whom you performed well in their class to do so.

Why do I need a recommendation letter?

Your recommendation letter is needed to know if you are a good fit for the college you’re applying for. There are specific things that college admissions offices look out for in their prospective students. Therefore, the recommendation letter helps in revealing the student’s character, skills, and qualifications.

Do all colleges require a recommendation letter?

No. Not all colleges require a recommendation letter but most of them do.

What should be the length of my college recommendation letter?

The ideal length of your college recommendation letter should be one page.

When is the best time to ask for a recommendation letter?

You should ask for a recommendation letter as early as possible so that your teacher will take the time to write you a good letter.

Remember that they also have to go about their daily lives and I’m sure you don’t want to be one of those who will come a few days to the submission deadline requesting a recommendation letter.

Can a member of my family write my recommendation letter for college?

No. A member of your family cannot write your recommendation letter.

Will I be charged for a letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation will be written by your high school teacher. Therefore, you will not be charged for it. 

Major Takeaways

Only write recommendation letters for students that you know and have worked closely with.

Endeavor to get the necessary information you need about the recipient as well as details about the submission deadline.

Find out the program for which they need the reference letter so that it will help you include some qualifications relevant to the program.

Give examples of the qualification and skills the student possesses.



As much as knowing how to write a recommendation letter for college entrance is important, you should make sure to give it to the right person to write it for you. A poorly written recommendation letter may not earn you the acceptance or admission you are seeking.

That is why we have put together this guide on how to write a recommendation letter for college. After reading through it, I am pretty sure that you have learned how to write a recommendation letter for college.

Additionally, as a recommender, make sure to only write recommendation letters for students to whom you can attest to their academic prowess.

It would be wrong for you to write a college recommendation letter for a student you know nothing about or one you cannot attest to. 




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