College Recommendation Letter Samples

When it comes to college recommendation letters, each college admissions process is different.  Some colleges will require a letter of recommendation from your high school guidance counselor, while others will ask for academic references from teachers or personal references from work supervisors.

It is important that your recommender knows you well.  This person should be able to provide valuable insights about your intellect, personality, and activities you do outside of the classroom.

Below, I’ve provided 5 college recommendation letter samples so that you can get a feel for what these types of recommendation letters might look like.

Sample # 1 – Extracurricular Activity Sample

To Whom It May Concern:

I have had the distinct pleasure of having Kaya Stone as a student in my debate classes and on my debate team for three years at Eastern Little Hope High School.  Kaya has been more than the ideal student.  In order to achieve the highest grades and my deepest respect, she has demonstrated outstanding leadership and maintained a clear sense of purpose.

The academics at Eastern Little Hope are most challenging, and Kaya fulfilled all the requirements with the added challenge of honors and advanced courses.  Kaya is an outstanding extemporaneous speaker and debater.  She has won many awards on the speech and debate circuits, and qualified for national tournaments.  Success in these interscholastic activities requires extensive research and persuasive skills. Kaya also holds the degree of Special Distinction, as a member of the National Forensic League.

Due to its nature of metro, state, and national interscholastic competition, the successful high school forensics student serves by not only representing his or her school but also by representing his or her community as well.  One of the requirements in my advanced class is to prepare lectures and guidance for the beginners.  With Kaya’ s superior knowledge and involvement in the political sciences, she developed a strong sense of confidence with a charming attitude.  Therefore, I could always depend on her to set the best example as an instructor.  Because of her natural leadership abilities, Kaya was selected as our Debate Captain.  On account of her mature approach to her responsibilities, I often thought of Kaya as a colleague.

Since her classmates, my fellow teachers, and I will always hold her in the highest esteem, I sincerely recommend Kaya Stone as the ideal candidate for matriculation at Eastern Little Hope State.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Peel, Ph.D.

* Free Sample Letter Courtesy of*

Sample #2 – Science Teacher Sample:

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to recommend Aaron Brown to St. Joseph College.  As a high school science teacher, I have had the pleasure of knowing Aaron since 9th grade, when he took my Biology class.  Aaron is currently excelling in my AP Biology class.  In addition, Aaron has been an active member of the school’s Science Club for the past four years. As President of the Club, Aaron has launched a very aggressive – and highly successful – renewable energy campaign in the school.

Aaron is one of the most impressive students I have met in my 20 years of teaching.  He is not only intelligent and hard-working, but creative, easy-going, and truly responsive to others. I have no doubt that Aaron would excel in whatever endeavor he tries, and believe he would be an asset to your school.  I recommend Aaron without reservation


John Smith, Ph.D.

* Free Sample Letter Courtesy of*

Sample #3 – Former Supervisor Sample:

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is my personal recommendation for Cathy Douglas.  I have been Cathy’s immediate supervisor for several years.  I found her to be consistently pleasant, tackling all assignments with dedication and a smile.

Besides being a joy to work with, Cathy is a take-charge person who is able to present creative ideas and communicate the benefits. She has successfully developed several marketing plans for our company that have resulted in increased revenue. During her tenure, we saw an increase in profits that exceeded one million dollars. The new revenue was a direct result of the plans implemented by Cathy.

Though she was an asset to our marketing efforts, Cathy was also extraordinarily helpful in other areas of the company. In addition to writing effective training modules for sales representatives, Cathy assumed a leadership role in sales meetings, inspiring and motivating other employees.

It is for these reasons that I offer high recommendations for Cathy without reservation.  She is a team player and would make a great asset to your school.


Sharon Feeney

Marketing Manager, ABC Productions

* Free Sample Letter Courtesy of*

Sample #4 – Sports Coach Sample:

As the head Girl’s Basketball Coach at Denton High School, I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for Dalissa Gaines.

I have known Dalissa as a member of my basketball team at Denton High School since taking the position in June of 2006.  During this time, I have come to appreciate her many fine qualities as I have watched her grow as a player and a person.  Dalissa had a very strong junior year as she was named our District 4-5A “6th Person of The Year.”  She averaged 6 pts and 4.5 rebounds per game while being a defensive force in the middle for a team that allowed only 29 points/game in District play.

Dalissa has spent the off-season working on her weaknesses.  She has improved her footwork in the post area and finishes well.  She worked hard getting stronger and has greatly improved her quickness.  She has soft hands and nice touch from fifteen feet.  She is comfortable posting up or facing the basket.  I expect that she will be one of the premier post players in our area.

Dalissa is not only a fine player, but is also an outstanding individual.  She excels in the classroom and is looked upon for her leadership.  She understands the value of goal setting and the importance of team work. She has shown the ability to bounce back from adversity and is willing to put in extra time to improve on weaknesses.  She realizes that success can only be obtained through hard work and approaching each task with a positive attitude.  Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.


Dennis Krishka

Head Girls Basketball Coach

Denton High School

* Free Sample Letter Courtesy of*

Sample #5 – Volunteer Work Sample:

To Whom It May Concern:

James Richards volunteered for six years in the Men’s Health ward at John Treeman Hospital.  During this time, he was a reliable volunteer who never missed a shift.  He was never late for any appointment either.

James was an asset to the hospital and he was always cheerful and willing to assist with any task or duty.

In addition, James is a quick learner and he was motivated and interested in learning and improving his skills.  As sad as I am to see him go, it is also my pleasure to recommend James for your university.  He will be a terrific addition.


Dr. Frazer Kingston, M.D.

* Free Sample Letter Courtesy of*

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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