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Boarding schools require several recommendations from teachers, administrators, coaches, and personal contacts to attest to the student’s abilities and character in the classroom, on the sports field, and in community environments. Most schools require a recommendation from the student’s math and English teachers, guidance counselor or principal, and an adult (non-family member) who knows the student on a personal level. Some schools may also require recommendations from foreign language and science teachers, sports coaches, mentors, volunteer and community service supervisors, and religious leaders (if applying to faith-based schools). 

The student or parent must input the recommenders’ names and email addresses into the application platform. The platform then generates a recommendation form that is emailed directly to the recommender. The form includes detailed instructions for completion and submission. After completion, the form is uploaded by the teacher or other recommender to the application platform. The student and parents are not privy to the recommender’s feedback, and should not ask the recommender for details or a copy of the form. 

Before the application platform generates the recommendation forms, it is considered good manners for the family to ask the recommenders for their assistance and to alert them to the email notifications they will receive from the application platforms. It is also good practice to let the recommenders know that the forms may accidentally land in their Junk or Spam email folder, and thus they should be on the lookout for the notifications. Additionally, it is helpful to provide the recommenders with a deadline for completing the forms to ensure the recommendations are completed in a timely manner. 

Finally, sending a “thank-you” email or hand-written note to the recommenders is polite practice. Some families even send the recommenders a small gift, such as a gift card, to thank them for their time and support of the student. 

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