Are they important?Absolutely. Prep Scholar lists out the schools that ask for letters and the ones that don’t. If your perspective school require recommendations, the number needed can be anywhere from one to four, then you should make them a priority.
Why are they important?Peterson’s states that letters matter for a various number of reasons. They allow smaller colleges to really sort through the potential students to find applicants that are respected by professionals. Recommendations also reinforce what is in your application and resume. Further, an especially personal letter can offer insight into your personality or school experiences. Such letters can expose something about yourself you may not have thought to include or explain away any faults in your application. It is also important to know that negative recommendations can have a horrible impact on your chances at acceptance. They can make admissions feel uncertain or worried about how you will interact with professors or other students, so make sure you ask teachers who are likely to paint you in the best light.
Anything else I should know?Yes. If you are using the Common Application you will be asked to fill out the FERPA Release Authorization form. While doing this you will have to decide whether to waive your rights to read your letters of recommendation or not. The decision is completely up to you and you should examine your own personal situation to decide the best course of action.
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