Seniors, asking your favorite teachers for college admissions recommendations may not head the top of your back-to-school“to do” list, but perhaps you’re not giving this task enough respect. Admissions officials want to hear from people they trust (your high school teachers) about why they should choose YOU as opposed to the thousands of other applicants they’ve heard from. And if you wait until October to ask your teachers to help you out, they may not have time to give college a comprehensive look at your overall greatness.

To keep your admissions portfolio from presenting the same old boilerplate recommendation letters that college admissions officials have seen a dozen times before (yes – they notice things like that!), seek out your teachers before they become inundated with requests from four hundred of your peers. Hitting teachers up for recommendations early on in the school year not only gives them ample time to create a personalized, thoughtful letter but also improves their opinion of you for not adding to the mass of requests they’ll receive simultaneously in November as a result of your less-prepared classmates’ procrastination.

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