Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 2Steaktacos, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. 2Steaktacos

    2Steaktacos 5-Year Member

    Jul 25, 2011
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    can anyone answer the following questions:

    *what makes a letter of recommendation (LOR) stand out from an average LOR? How can they help/hurt?

    *Teacher recommendations are on-line correct? Are they only from math and English? What is the online format? Is there a way for another teacher to add an additional LOR?
  2. pilot2b

    pilot2b 5-Year Member

    Jul 8, 2011
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    I didn't send in any "extra" LOR to USNA beyond what was on the portal. I did to USAFA though, since it says you can send up to 3. I'll let others comment on whether to send in extra ones not mentioned on the portal... However, if you do, it's best to get at least one from a teacher, one from a coach, and perhaps one from an EC or leadership activity (like JROTC).
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Teacher recs can really help or hurt. The reason is that they've seen the student over the course of at least one full year.

    I have not personally seen the rec form so don't know specifically what is asked. However, if the teacher believes the student is a stand-out, he/she should say so.

    Obviously, some positives could be that the student pays attention in class, turns work in on time, is enthusiastic, performs well academically, is intellectually curious, goes beyond the minimum, etc. The teacher may also e asked to comment about the student outside of the class, such as his or her leadership abilities, etc.

    USNA will accept up to 3 additional recs (or, they may have lowered the number to 2). As a general rule, they will only help if the person writing the rec can speak to some area of the candidate's life that cannot be covered by the teacher or the candidate's essay or your list of activities. One example would be a candidate who must work to help support his/her family and thus doesn't have time to pursue many sports or ECAs. The employer would be able to talk about leadership and responsibility at work. (This does NOT mean that every candidate should have his/her summer employer write a rec.)

    Another example would be a candidate whose ECAs are entirely church-based (or otherwise not school-based). Or someone who transferred schools late in a school year so the junior teachers have little personal knowledge -- might get a rec from a prior school more on the ECA/leadership side than classroom side.

    The above list is not all-inclusive. However, USNA has repeatedly said that extra recs that merely repeat: "This is a great candidate; he/she would make a great mid," etc. do NOT help.

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