Letters of recommendation

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by goddard12, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. goddard12

    goddard12 Member

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    For congressional nomination applications they request a variety of letters of recommendation and sometimes it say, for example, that you need one from a math teacher and one from a science teacher and a third from a none family member. If that third letter were to be a teacher would they not like that would they prefer a coach, family friend, neighbor, club leader, etc?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Typically, they are looking for someone who knows you outside of the classroom -- a coach, employer, pastor, or maybe a friend of the family who knows you well. Thus, I wouldn't choose a third teacher b/c he/she is unlikely to have much different to say about you. The one exception might be if you are very involved in a school activity and the teacher is the faculty rep for that activity, so he/she would be writing about you outside of academics.
     
  3. cv64

    cv64 Member

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    What about a fomer MOC who has been a family friend and knows child as well, if not better, than many outside of family? Is that viewed as "political hardball"?
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    IMO, the key is how well he/she really knows your child. And, maybe how well the two politicians get along.:rolleyes:

    In all seriousness, it rarely hurts if you have a rec from someone "famous," assuming that famous person does know you well. It is patently obvious when the recommender doesn't have much personal knowledge of the person he's recommending. It can hurt if the folks reading the rec don't like the famous person for some reason or if the substance of the review is lacking such that they suspect you selected the famous person more for fame than for knowledge (of the person being recommended).

    In your case, if the former MOC isn't at odds with the current MOC and can comment substantively about your child, I see no issues with it.
     
  5. C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight

    C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight Member

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    What letters are required for USNA? I know all the requirements for USAFA as well as my MOCs and the VP, but I haven't really heard any about USNA. I'd like to get all this stuff together before summer break.
     
  6. parentofmen

    parentofmen Member

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    The USNA typically wants your english and math teachers. They also want your athletic coach. If you don't do a sport in school, you can submit a letter of recommendation from your coach in whatever sport you do. I don't believe they want to see any other letters of recommendation (my son heard "the thicker the packet, the thicker the candidate"). Don't know if that's true, but...

    It is in your best interest to send to your congressman/senators a resume with relevant documents, which can include letters of recommendation, although you again don't want to send in too much. I believe most nomination applications have room for all information you might want to include, but it doesn't hurt to send in a one page resume. My son sent them a letter of recommendation from his coach (the same as the one sent to the Academy), one from his school counselor, and one from the director of the organization that he volunteered for.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA will accept additional letters of recommendation beyond what's asked for. However, they stress that the additional letter(s) should show something about you that is otherwise not known to the Admissions Board.

    For example, if you work after school and every summer for two years, you might get a letter from your employer. The reason is that you might have fewer sports/ECAs than someone not working and your employer can talk about you outside of school in a way your teachers, etc. can't. However, if you only worked at your place of employment for one month of one summer -- a letter from your employer probably won't do anything for you.

    Another example -- if 90% of your ECAs are church-focused (or focused on some activity not associated with your school) and you've been involved in this activity throughout h.s. such that you have very few school activities -- a letter from the head of that activity might be beneficial.

    What you do not want to do is compile a huge stack of letters each saying you are the nicest, most decent, hardworking person who wants USNA really, really badly. Not going to help. You don't want a letter from an admiral who barely knows you or letters from 10 USNA grads who know your parents and know that any kid of theirs must be great. Not going to help.

    Most people who gain appointments provide what is asked and no more. You will not be disadvantaged if you provide only what's requested. It is rare for an additional letter of rec to have any influence unless, as discussed above, it brings out an important part of your life about which USNA would otherwise be clueless.
     
  8. C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight

    C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight Member

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    Thankyou that's very good to know. Cuz I do quite a few things in and around my community, especially with the local American Legion post. I've been around that place since I was born so I know quite a few people well in different settings.
     
  9. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    To be clear, you aren't getting a "letter" per se from the English and Math teachers for USNA. USNA is going to request their email address, then send them a "form" to fill out about you. You will need letters for your applications for nominations.

    It is a very good idea to get going on the school related stuff before the staff is scattered for the summer. USNA will also request the email of a registrar or someone similar at your school. We had trouble with the school's email rejecting USNA email, some kind of firewall issue. Had to track down the teachers, etc and get personal email addresses. Registrar would not give us her email address, so had to meet with Vice-Principal and then had to remind her several times to fill out the form USNA had sent. It drug out over the summer and we finally got it completed in September.

    However, son did receive an email each time USNA sent an email to one of the email addresses he had given them and each time one of the teachers or the vice-p completed their forms and submitted back to USNA. Don't know if they still do this, but it was helpful to know when teachers had received emails requesting information.
     
  10. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    My son spent months collecting letters of rec only to find out he would not need them for his academy app or his nominations. (Wish we had found this forum before his senior year :rolleyes:) As JennyP mentions above, the academy sends emails directly to the sources of recommendation. Our MOCs had a specific form to be filled out as well, so my son ended up doing the work twice. The letters were nice to read and remain in his file, but they weren't much help in the end.
     

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