Value of additional reference letters


10-Year Member
Aug 15, 2006
Besides the references required from a math and english teacher is there any value in sending additional references from 'key' people? The admissions department says no additional references are required but are they useful? Any advice would be helpful.
I have not begun applying but noticed the topic, is it you current english and math teachers or is it any? I plan to submit at least two others. I am in JROTC (I would suggest letters from an adult commander of scouts, cap, or anything like that) and also am going to have my school administrator (her daughter applied to AFA) write me one too. Unless some knows they will not look at additional references I would add one or two if it was someone you really wanted to add a letter from. I wouldn't go overboard with it though, probably not more than 4 or 5.
Through the normal Application process it is not possible to send any extra Letters of Recommendation, because the Application is all on line and you fill in specific information. For the Teacher Refrences you give their name and E-mail address and then the admissions office sends them a questionaire to fill out.

You could conceivably send other information by snail mail, but I'm not sure I would. Showing you can follow instructions is important.
You can submit additional letters of reference via snail mail and that they will be read and considered.

That said, consider whether the additional letter will really add to your overall packet. Do NOT get a letter from someone "important" (flag officer, politician, etc.) who doesn't know you well. You can tell when the recommender really doesn't know the person being recommended and this type of recommendation won't help at all. Do NOT send in a bunch of additional letters just to have more.

I would suggest sending in an additional letter ONLY if there is something unique about you that cannot be demonstrated to USNA in any other way (including your own essay).

The overwhelming majority of candidates who receive appointments do not submit additional letters of recommendation. So not doing so won't hurt you.