Counselor Recommendation Letters
This is in contrast to the Teacher Letter of Recommendation, which focuses on your performance and involvement in a particular class or subject area.
Fairview Counselors want to take the time to fully personalize your letter. Start early and make sure you submit your forms by the deadlines indicated to the right.
Do I need a Counselor Letter of Recommendation?Not all colleges require a Counselor Letter of Recommendation to accompany your application. Check the freshman admission website for each college on your list to see if one is required.
If a counselor letter is not required, ask your counselor if one is necessary to explain how your particular circumstances affected your academic record. Otherwise, do not ask for or send more letters than are required.
What is FERPA and why should I waive it?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all high schools and colleges that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
To ensure the integrity of your recommendation letters, all colleges require you to sign a FERPA Waiver as part of the application process. Read more the FERPA Waiver, including why you should sign it and how you might encounter it, click here.
When and how do I request a Counselor Letter of Recommendation?
- Speak to your counselor personally at the end of your junior year or by August or September of senior year.
- Complete a Student Questionnaire or Student Reflection Letter (see Forms above right).
- Ask your parent or guardian to complete a Parent Brag Sheet (see Forms above right).
- Make sure your colleges are listed in Naviance under "Colleges I'm Applying To."
- When you request your Official Transcripts for college applications, indicate on the Transcript Request Record if you will require a Counselor Rec Letter for each college you are applying to.
- Submit these forms to the Counseling Office at least ONE MONTH before your earliest application deadline. Learn more about Application Deadlines.
My college requires my Counselor Letter in paper format. What does the Counseling Office need from me?On the rare occasion that your Counselor Letter must be mailed, include an envelope FOR EACH college that requires this form of submission:
- Place at least 3 stamps on the upper right hand corner.
- Write the college admission office's full address (found on the college admissions website) on the middle of the envelope.
- Use the following for the sender's address (upper left corner):
Your Counselor's Name, Fairview High School, 1515 Greenbriar Blvd., Boulder CO 80305.
How are Counselor Recommendation Letters sent?
School policy prohibits your counselor from giving you the recommendation letter, even in a sealed envelope. This confidentiality is required so that the colleges and other recipient organizations are ensured that your counselor's statements are a candid and forthright appraisal of your ability. To this end, you must sign the FERPA Agreement included in your college applications so that your materials will be provided to the colleges in a timely manner.
Depending on your colleges' requirements, your counselor will submit your materials electronically or by mail before or on the application due date.
How do I know if my counselor recommendation letter has been sent or received by my colleges?
In the Naviance "Colleges I'm Applying to" page, check the "Office Status" of your college. This will indicate if Counseling Office materials required by that college have been submitted for you.
Check your college's Common App "FERPA and Recommendations" section
If you applied through the Common App, the "FERPA and Recommendations" section for each college will display the status of the counselor letter you have requested through Fairview procedures. Note that Common App only provides this feature if the counselor letter was required by the college.
Check the application status website for your college
After you submit an application to a college, most will email you a link to a secure website with a login that allows you to check which required components of your application have been received or are still missing.
Call the college admissions office
Some colleges start a file for you as soon as they receive any application components, even prior to application submission. Call the college admissions department for more information.