How do I ask a teacher for a recommendation?

Many colleges rate recommendation letters as one of their most important considerations, higher than AP scores, extracurriculars, and class rank. That’s why we believe it’s important to get students on the path to good recommendations early. Starting in 10th grade, we give students simple tips on building relationships with teachers, from asking for input on potential majors to using our template for better emails. Towards the end of junior year, it’s finally time to pop the question. Since a lot of colleges require two teacher recommendations, we want students to have two teachers (ideally from junior year) with whom they get along well. It’s best if at least one of them teaches a subject that is related to the student’s potential college major. Making the request itself can be stressful, so we walk students through it step by step. First, we recommend that students schedule their request in advance over email, asking when the teacher might have a minute to chat about college. Then we coach students on a possible script, like “Hey, because I like your class and I think you know me well, I’m wondering if you feel you could write me a positive recommendation?” Then the only thing that’s left is to follow up that evening with a list of college deadlines and some bullet-points that highlight your coursework. The app includes a Google worksheet so students can just fill in the blank. We hope these suggestions make the process a little less nerve-racking, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that your top-choice teachers say YES!