Letters Of Recommendation For College

When it comes to college admissions, each component of the application offers a distinct window into a student’s profile. While grades and test scores might represent academic prowess and essays give voice to personal journeys, letters of recommendation (LORs) stand out as testimonials of a student’s character, potential, and achievements. At Legacy College Advisors, we understand the crucial role these endorsements play and are here to guide you through the nuances of acquiring standout LORs.

Understanding Letters of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation is a formal document penned by a teacher, mentor, or other relevant individual that vouches for a student’s qualifications and aptitude for college-level work. Typically, colleges request two of these letters, but some might ask for more, especially for specific programs or scholarships.

Why LORs Matter
in College Admissions​

A Third-Party

LORs offer colleges an external viewpoint on the student, providing insights that aren’t available through grades or personal statements alone. This unbiased perspective brings depth and dimension to the applicant’s profile, showcasing aspects that even the student might not be fully aware of. Furthermore, as these letters come from seasoned educators or mentors, their perspectives often hold significant weight in the admissions process.

Highlighting Character and Soft Skills

While grades and test scores indicate academic skills, LORs can emphasize attributes like resilience, leadership, teamwork, or passion for a subject. These soft skills often prove to be just as, if not more, essential than hard skills in a college environment. A well-written recommendation letter can bring to light a student’s unique contributions to class discussions, their collaborative spirit in team projects, or their unwavering dedication to extracurricular pursuits.


Mentors can affirm any achievements, projects, or challenges the student has discussed in their application, adding weight to their claims. This validation acts as a testament to the authenticity and caliber of a student’s accomplishments. Moreover, when a teacher or mentor emphasizes particular milestones or efforts, it provides a richer context and frames the student’s achievements in a broader educational and personal landscape.


One of the most profound aspects of recommendation letters is their ability to trace a student’s growth journey. Often, these letters come from educators or mentors who have witnessed the student’s evolution throughout high school. They can eloquently speak to the challenges faced, the resilience shown, and the transformation in character or skill sets over time. This narrative of growth is particularly compelling for admissions officers, as it indicates a student’s capacity for adaptability, learning, and maturity—traits highly valued in a collegiate environment.

What Universities Seek in Letters of


Universities can discern generic letters from those penned with genuine insight. Authentic letters, rich with anecdotes and specific details about the student, carry greater weight.

Depth Over Breadth

A letter detailing one significant project or trait is more impactful than a list of disconnected qualities.

Alignment with the Student’s Story

A stellar LOR complements the narrative a student presents in their personal essays and application.

Potential for Growth

Admissions officers look for indications that the student will thrive in a college setting and contribute positively to the campus community.

How Legacy Elevates Your LOR Process

Strategic Recommender Selection

Not all recommenders are created equal. Legacy assists students in identifying who, among their mentors and teachers, will best represent their strengths and align with their chosen academic path.

Providing Context

It’s essential that recommenders understand the gravity of their role. We guide students on how to approach potential recommenders, offering them context about the college application process and the specific schools or programs they’re targeting.

Crafting a
“Brag Sheet”

While it’s not a student’s role to write their LOR, they can certainly provide their recommenders with a “brag sheet.” This is a concise document detailing achievements, projects, and experiences relevant to the recommendation. Legacy aids in curating this vital tool, ensuring recommenders have all they need to craft a compelling endorsement.


Waiting until the last minute can result in rushed, less impactful letters. Legacy ensures you’re ahead of the curve, setting timelines for discussions with recommenders and subsequent follow-ups.

Understanding Etiquette

From how to formally request a LOR to expressing gratitude post-submission, we guide students through the etiquette of this process, ensuring positive and lasting relationships with their recommenders.

College Admissions Help

At Legacy College Advisors, we’re committed to making sure that every piece of your college application, LORs included, showcases the best version of you. Dive into the college admissions process with confidence, knowing Legacy is by your side, every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can guide you through the college admissions process.