Preparing for College

Parent Recommendation Letters to Colleges

Question: I have received a letter from an admission office of a college my daughter has applied to requesting a letter from parents to "share some traits she has that would demonstrate her full potential as a person, as well as special qualities that might make this college a good fit." This is our first time applying to colleges. Any suggestions?

Over a decade ago, when I worked in the admission office at Smith College, the administration decided to offer parents the opportunity to write a reference for their applicant daughters. Frankly, this was begun as a PR ploy. The idea was that Mom and Dad would say, "Gee, finally a college that cares about US and what WE think" and then they'd encourage their daughters to attend Smith.

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