Optional recommendations?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by mpete2150, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. mpete2150

    mpete2150 Member

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    Sorry if this has been answered multiple times, just joined and I did a search of forums but didn't find anything. I'm a hopeful USNA Dad with a daughter working her way through the application process and the nominations in parallel. How many of the successful mids or parents here used an additional recommendation other than the 1 Math and 1 English teacher. My daughter has very strong academics and extra curricular but, in spite of running XC for 4 years, will probably not run a race for Varsity during her career. The thing is, she runs for a VERY fast team (2 State wins in the last 3 years) and although she runs all the many, many miles with those runners, does optional weights every week, runs all off-season through the snow and is one of the Senior leaders, they can only run 7 runners to score and she won't be one of those. However, her coach loves her and wrote an amazing letter of recommendation for her. It seems he hit on all of the topics I would imagine the Academy would like to hear, especially for someone who can't claim Varsity; incredibly hard worker, never skips optional practices like many athletes and has stepped up as a Senior leader. So, is an optional letter seen as an annoyance and not following the rules or is this something almost everyone does? Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    Most of the advice I've seen on this forum is don't include extra LOR's unless they tell something about the candidate that is not already contained in other LOR's. In this case it may help explain the lack of varsity sport. Also, I'm not sure how a Sr. Leader compares to the role of Team Captain, but the Sr. Leader role may be of benefit.

    There are many other qualified people on this site, including BGO's, that hopefully will provide a better answer than I can. Also, I think it's worth mentioning that although varsity sports are a big plus, my DD did not have HS varsity sports and is USNA class of 2019. She had other ECA's that required physical fitness and leadership traits. So varsity and team captain is big, but not an absolute requirement.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    This is the official guidance on additional LORs:

    The decision is ultimately up to your DD. She will need to decide whether the admissions office will learn anything new from an additional LOR, which is not already known about. If the emphasis is that she is a hard worker and committed (the gist I took away from your post) -- will this be covered in one of the teacher's or counselor's recommendations? If the explanation is why DD is not in a varsity sport, the BGO interview, typically, is a great opportunity to explain the situation since most BGOs will ask candidates to extrapolate on their activities. However, as I mentioned above, the governing question should be -- does USNA Admissions learn anything new?
     
  4. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^ That has typically been the discussion. I found several threads on this subject when I searched on "letter of recommendation".
     
  5. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    Surprisingly the requirements of each academy has dulled in my memory. It seems like some accepted optional LORs and some asked for specific one like math and English teacher... I don't think it would count against you to go ahead and include it but make sure you have the ones that they require. Not sure if it will help or be considered if they didn't ask for it. My DS only submitted what was asked for. It was a little different at each academy. Good luck.
     
  6. truenorth

    truenorth Member

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    Our experience is that once DS' plans became known, suggestions for LORs came fast and furious. They ranged from "we know somebody" to "the husband of my cousin's sister-in-law knows a guy who could ask X to write a letter" to "has he asked so and so"

    Interestingly, all of these were for USNA Admissions. There were no offers of aid/ideas for nominations.

    DS tuned it all out and just followed the guidelines.
     
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  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Those submitting additional LORs need to make sure they meet what USNA Admissions asked for:

     
  8. mpete2150

    mpete2150 Member

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    Thanks, everyone. I'll pass this along to my daughter. Her coach does have 4 years of direct observation and his comments do show things her teacher's couldn't really observe so maybe we'll include his letter.
     
  9. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    I don't think it can hurt..particularly if the Coach can comment on her Leadership.
     
  10. mpete2150

    mpete2150 Member

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    Our BGO has been very helpful in this regard. He saw the letter, agreed it was both pertinent and important. The mechanism, for any others wondering the same thing, is to get the letter to your guidance counselor, have them turn it into a pdf and send it to your area USNA admissions counselor who is compiling all the bits of info into their standard. Thanks again for your help, the "Action Items" part of DD's portal is shrinking quickly!
     
  11. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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    Is there the possibility that she can be named as a/the co-captain? Your daughter may be assuming these responsibilities w/o her &/or the coach actually realizing it.
     
  12. mpete2150

    mpete2150 Member

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    I don't think she could honestly say that but her coach's words were "she volunteered to be a camp counselor at our middle school XC camp and has stepped up this year to be one of our Senior leaders. She leads stretching before practice and the Interval Circuit after practice". Seems pretty important for an admissions panel to read that if she can't say she ran as one of the 7 Varsity runners.
     

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