Letters of Recommendation

Artillery

Member
Hi guys,

So I'm applying to USMA and USAFA, which both require like 30 letters of rec in total because the congressman and the academies both need copies. In addition, I'm applying to a couple civilian colleges.

Now, I have my three teachers lined up, but does anyone know if the letters can just be reused or if I have to get a different copy for each school. I know that USMA's is special in that it isn't just a standard letter, and I'm assuming that USAFA is the same. But the congressmen and the civilian colleges, can I just have the teachers write a letter and send a copy to each source or are those unique as well?
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Good morning.
Your teachers will know what to do and USMA is not a letter, not really. It is an online form with comments. Your teachers may have trouble completing it in Chrome rather than Explorer. But yes, you should explain your situation to your referees when you ask them. They will know the write something relatively generic in terms of your choice of school. Also get an address at which they can be reached during the summer or if they change jobs.

You are already ahead of the power curve by thinking about this in March.
 

brovol

Member
There are letters of recommendation, and there are teacher evaluations for each of the accademys. The evaluations are, I think, much more important, and but come from science, math and English teachers. Each academy has slightly different rules on who can do them, so read close and get the best teachers you are allowed to get. Unfortunately, some teachers are better about doing it then others, so stay on them.

The MOC's require letters, but they each have rules on who can do. My son got a bunch of teachers and school administrators who he knew thought a lot of him to write letters of recommendation. Most of them literally asked him to put something together for them, as they were not sure what to write. If they ask for that, there is no shame or dishonor in drafting a template for them to edit as they wish. And if you do that love yourself up, and discuss reasons why you are a leader with high character and ability. You can also mention those things to the people who are writing it themselves.

Offer to print the letters for them with individual addresses, and stamped envelopes. Some will of course do everything independently, and that's great too, but you may wish to ask for a copy, so you know what they say. Regardless, make everything as easy as possible for them.

Generic letters are not as impresive in my opinion. I would do what you can to get the writer to put separate addresses on each.

The evaluations are like online surverys. Obviously you don't want to tell the teachers what to say, but I would let them know how important they are, and that you would appreciate a good evaluation.
 

MidwestDad

Member
Line up the letters you need for nominations, many of those can be repurposed. Some specify specific subject teachers, principal, etc etc. Others don't specify at all. Go to MOC websites now, most of them have the nomination requirements listed.
 

RedDragon

5-Year Member
After getting the buy-in, our sons provided all recommenders with a cover letter thanking them in advance for agreeing to do this and to which SAs, MOCs, and the reasons for choosing this path.... alsopre-addressed, envelopes are helpful....and most importantly...include a detailed resume broken down by academic, athletic, leadership, and community service achievements.
 

Artillery

Member
Good morning.
Your teachers will know what to do and USMA is not a letter, not really. It is an online form with comments. Your teachers may have trouble completing it in Chrome rather than Explorer. But yes, you should explain your situation to your referees when you ask them. They will know the write something relatively generic in terms of your choice of school. Also get an address at which they can be reached during the summer or if they change jobs.

You are already ahead of the power curve by thinking about this in March.
Good to know I'm ahead!

I have all my teachers lined up and ready, and I knew about the online form. My FF Rep said there was another letter though that was just the general Letter of Rec you'd send to a regular school.

Thanks for your help!
 

Artillery

Member
There are letters of recommendation, and there are teacher evaluations for each of the accademys. The evaluations are, I think, much more important, and but come from science, math and English teachers. Each academy has slightly different rules on who can do them, so read close and get the best teachers you are allowed to get. Unfortunately, some teachers are better about doing it then others, so stay on them.

The MOC's require letters, but they each have rules on who can do. My son got a bunch of teachers and school administrators who he knew thought a lot of him to write letters of recommendation. Most of them literally asked him to put something together for them, as they were not sure what to write. If they ask for that, there is no shame or dishonor in drafting a template for them to edit as they wish. And if you do that love yourself up, and discuss reasons why you are a leader with high character and ability. You can also mention those things to the people who are writing it themselves.

Offer to print the letters for them with individual addresses, and stamped envelopes. Some will of course do everything independently, and that's great too, but you may wish to ask for a copy, so you know what they say. Regardless, make everything as easy as possible for them.

Generic letters are not as impresive in my opinion. I would do what you can to get the writer to put separate addresses on each.

The evaluations are like online surverys. Obviously you don't want to tell the teachers what to say, but I would let them know how important they are, and that you would appreciate a good evaluation.
I guess I have my teachers for the evaluation lined up (Math, Physics, AP English); they all wanted to do it themselves, I offered to write a shell so that they wouldn't be too burdened with it. So the letters of rec are seperate with different people?

My FF Rep said that there were two parts, a generic letter like you'd send to a regular college, and then the online thing; I'm assuming the online part is the evaluation and the generic letter is the letter of rec.

That's what I meant by generic, as in they can be used for multiple academies and schools.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Please, remember to hand your referees your resume. It makes it easy for them to know all of your awesome qualities and activities.
 

brovol

Member
There are letters of recommendation, and there are teacher evaluations for each of the accademys. The evaluations are, I think, much more important, and but come from science, math and English teachers. Each academy has slightly different rules on who can do them, so read close and get the best teachers you are allowed to get. Unfortunately, some teachers are better about doing it then others, so stay on them.

The MOC's require letters, but they each have rules on who can do. My son got a bunch of teachers and school administrators who he knew thought a lot of him to write letters of recommendation. Most of them literally asked him to put something together for them, as they were not sure what to write. If they ask for that, there is no shame or dishonor in drafting a template for them to edit as they wish. And if you do that love yourself up, and discuss reasons why you are a leader with high character and ability. You can also mention those things to the people who are writing it themselves.

Offer to print the letters for them with individual addresses, and stamped envelopes. Some will of course do everything independently, and that's great too, but you may wish to ask for a copy, so you know what they say. Regardless, make everything as easy as possible for them.

Generic letters are not as impresive in my opinion. I would do what you can to get the writer to put separate addresses on each.

The evaluations are like online surveys. Obviously you don't want to tell the teachers what to say, but I would let them know how important they are, and that you would appreciate a good evaluation.
I guess I have my teachers for the evaluation lined up (Math, Physics, AP English); they all wanted to do it themselves, I offered to write a shell so that they wouldn't be too burdened with it. So the letters of rec are seperate with different people?

My FF Rep said that there were two parts, a generic letter like you'd send to a regular college, and then the online thing; I'm assuming the online part is the evaluation and the generic letter is the letter of rec.

That's what I meant by generic, as in they can be used for multiple academies and schools.
The evaluations must be done by the teachers, without input. They are done online. Like an online survey. The teacher rates you from 1-5 in several categories, and then offers comments. They are confidential, but your teacher can share with you what was asked if he/she wants to. They are actually calculated as part of the leadership portion of the WCS, and are clearly more important than the letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation are actually optional, but certainly you should have them done. Hard to say how much value the letters of recommendation are with the academies. My guess is that they are more important with the MOC 's in the nomination process.

For the actual letters of recommendation, get people who know you well and can say so. Perhaps a teacher or administrator who coached you as well, or who knows you on a couple of levels and who can attest to your character, work effort, and intelligence, giving specific examples of things you did which support those conclusions. Those don't need to be teachers, but school people are always good. Maybe your employer even.
 

applejack12

New Member
The letters for the nominations will be slightly different than for civilian colleges as they will be addressed to a person rather than an institution. Like the nom letters will not be able to have "this student would be a good addition to your college because..." and such. Overall content can be identical. I would suggest that you have your teachers focus on highlighting leadership qualities. I asked my teachers to do this and got a nom and appointment so I'd say it helped!
 
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