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College Talk Blog

Teacher references are worth big bucks

Teachers who teach high school seniors play a significant role in the scholarships their seniors will receive. Their willingness and ability to serve as a reference for their students during college admission season determines which seniors will be successful applying to colleges early and which seniors will have to wait to apply later in college application season. Twelfth grade teachers are swarmed this time of year with requests. What teachers may not know, is what the request means in terms of dollars.
The largest single scholarship awards that most students receive come as part of college admission offers. Much of the money that is offered is offered during early and priority admission cycles. That means denying a student a letter may cost his family big bucks in lost scholarship money at colleges that have a strict teacher reference deadline. The overload of teacher requests within a short period of time, makes it difficult for teachers to say yes to every request and be able to deliver by deadlines.
Schools that want to increase the scholarship yield for their students should coordinate the efforts of student requestors, teachers and counselors in the college application reference process. The reason most students fail to request references in a timely manner is lack of knowledge of when college application references are due,  the proper process to request a reference, the amount of time a teacher requires to produce a reference and what to do with the reference information after it is provided.
Schools that coordinate the process well, will look awesome at scholarship award ceremony time when they exceed the scholarship offers of other schools in their district. Their students will go on to great things in college and parents will be very happy. Coordinating college processes is a win-win for schools and families.

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