How much do alumni recommendations matter?

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Our counselors answered:

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Janet Rapelye

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nancy Meislahn
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Wesleyan University

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nancy Meislahn
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Wesleyan University

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Here is my video response to the question.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Alumnae rec letters

Recommendations and interviews with alumni are not considered very important in the admissions process. Colleges want academic (or music, art, talent) teachers to give you strong recommendations. Of course, if the alum knows you well and is active in alumni actitivies at the college, the letter won't hurt!

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Alumni recommendations, in and of themselves, are of minimal value. The school wants to know about you and the alumni connection is more about them. Admittedly, if they are an influential alum, a big giver or a member of the Board, it may be given greater consideration, but the true value of any recommendation lies in the way it gives the school a fuller picture of the applicant as the school seeks to assemble another piece of their community.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

It all depends who the alums are, like a past president or ex-director of admissions. It's not what you know, but who you know - never forget that!

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Never get a recommendation from someone who does not know you. Why would an admissions officer want to hear from a stranger about your abilities or personal character. However, if your recommender happens to be from one of the universities you are applying to, I often suggest that they include a personal note along the lines of "As a graduate of x University I know that a student such as...can succeed in an environment that celebrates..." Essentially they are personalizing your recommendation to the university in question.

Kiersten Murphy
Executive Director and Founder Murphy College Consultants LLC

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

I think the answer varies, but I think that alum interviews matter very little today.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Alumni Recommendations

Each school will have it's own policy regarding alumni involvement in the application process. For some institutions alums will serve as interviewers when a student can't make it to campus. Whether the alumni serve in an evaluative or informative capacity will again depend on the college's instructions. Written letters of recommendation are generally expected to be from your high school teachers, guidance counselor and occasionally a coach. To pad your file with too many supporting documents can become cumbersome for the admissions office.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

How much do alumni recommendations matter?

Alumni recommendations don't matter more than other recommendations -- just by virtue of coming from alumni. It's the substance of the recommendation that counts much more. Therefore, it's really important for the recommender (no matter WHO they are) to KNOW you well so that he/she can write a letter that is meaningful and possibly -- helpful.