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Letters of Recommendation for Graduate School Admissions

A letter of recommendation is a letter that makes a statement of support for a candidate. This letter should  present a well-documented evaluation, providing sufficient evidence and information to help an admission committee get a better picture of you and your potential.

Nearly every graduate program requires applicants to submit letters of recommendation. Don't underestimate the importance of these letters. While your transcript, standardized test scores, and personal statement are vital components to your application, an excellent letter of recommendation can make up for weaknesses in any of these areas.

The best letters of recommendation come from professors or individuals who know you well. A well written letter of recommendation provides admissions committees with information that isn't found elsewhere in the application. A letter of recommendation discusses applicant's personal qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that make him/her unique and perfect for the programs to which he/she is applying.

Selection committees normally weed out mediocre application packets before focusing on the excellent ones. This means that a brief letter with phrases like "good student" and "hard worker" that aren't substantiated with examples will get tossed aside in favor of the detailed letter that doesn't just tell but shows how qualified the student is. Remember, what makes a student's application packet stand out from the others is not only grades and accomplishments, but the specifics of what the student did and how he or she went about it.

Learn more about the structure of the Recommendation Letters:


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