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Ensuring Recommenders Understand Your College Goals

When applying to college, one of the most important components of your application is the recommendation letter. These letters provide insight into your character, abilities, and potential as a student. However, it is crucial to ensure that your recommenders understand your college goals in order to write a letter that effectively supports your application. By clearly communicating your aspirations and providing relevant information, you can help your recommenders craft a letter that highlights your strengths and aligns with your college goals.

1. Communicate your college goals

The first step in ensuring that your recommenders understand your college goals is to clearly communicate them. Take the time to reflect on your aspirations and think about what you hope to achieve during your college years. Are you interested in pursuing a specific major or career path? Do you have any particular extracurricular activities or research interests that you would like to pursue? By articulating your goals, you can provide your recommenders with a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve in college.

For example, if you are interested in studying computer science and eventually working in the tech industry, make sure to mention this to your recommenders. This information will help them tailor their letters to highlight your passion for computer science and your potential for success in the field.

2. Provide relevant information

In addition to communicating your college goals, it is important to provide your recommenders with relevant information that can support your application. This includes details about your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and any other experiences that are relevant to your college goals.

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For instance, if you have participated in a coding competition or completed an internship at a technology company, make sure to share this information with your recommenders. These experiences can provide valuable evidence of your skills and dedication to your chosen field.

3. Share your personal experiences

When writing a recommendation letter, recommenders often draw on their personal experiences with the student to provide examples of their strengths and abilities. By sharing your personal experiences with your recommenders, you can help them craft a letter that reflects your unique qualities and achievements.

For example, if you have overcome a significant challenge or demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, make sure to share these experiences with your recommenders. They can then incorporate these examples into their letters to provide a more comprehensive and compelling portrait of your abilities.

4. Provide guidance and resources

While your recommenders are responsible for writing the letter, it can be helpful to provide them with guidance and resources to ensure that they understand your college goals. This can include sample recommendation letters, guidelines for writing effective letters, and any specific requirements or preferences outlined by the colleges you are applying to.

Additionally, you can offer to meet with your recommenders to discuss your goals and answer any questions they may have. This personal interaction can help them gain a deeper understanding of your aspirations and provide them with the information they need to write a strong letter.

5. Follow up and express gratitude

After your recommenders have submitted their letters, it is important to follow up and express your gratitude. Send a thank-you note or email to let them know how much you appreciate their time and effort in supporting your college goals.

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Furthermore, keep your recommenders updated on your college application process and outcomes. If you are accepted into a college or receive a scholarship, let them know. This not only shows your appreciation but also allows them to share in your success.


Ensuring that your recommenders understand your college goals is essential for a strong recommendation letter. By communicating your aspirations, providing relevant information, sharing personal experiences, offering guidance and resources, and expressing gratitude, you can help your recommenders write a letter that effectively supports your application. Remember, the recommendation letter is an opportunity for your recommenders to highlight your strengths and potential, so make sure to provide them with the information they need to do so. With careful communication and collaboration, you can ensure that your recommenders understand your college goals and write a letter that helps you stand out in the competitive college admissions process.

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