How to Write a Thank You Note for a Recommendation Letter

Categories: Admissions Advice

collegethankyounoteLetters of recommendation play an important role in higher education, whether you’re applying for college or searching for scholarships. They help tell an admissions board or organization more about you. They describe your abilities and skills. They make you stand out in the crowd.

Ideally, they also get you the scholarship or college placement you’re hoping for.

That’s why it’s so important to know how to write a thank you note to every person who helps you with your recommendation letters or gives you some other sort of assistance during the application process. Remember, the people writing your letters are doing something kind for you – it’s absolutely necessary to express your gratitude.

So how do you go about it?

Step 1: The Thank You
Start off with the most important part – the thank you! Be specific, rather than vague. Something like “Thank you writing a letter of recommendation to support my application to the University of Illinois” is much less general than “Thanks for writing a letter of recommendation for me.”

Step 2: Tell Them Why it Matters
Why does your letter writer’s support mean so much to you? Is this the college you’ve dreamed of attending since you were small? Will the scholarship money you’re applying for make it possible for you to avoid student loans? Personalize your note by letting the person know why their letter was so important.

Step 3: Promise to Follow Up
The people writing your letters are interested in the outcome, so tell them you’ll keep them updated. Something as simple as, “I’m keeping an eye out for any news and I’ll let you know whether or not I was chosen for the scholarship,” should do the trick. But don’t forget to make good on your promise – once you hear of the decision, follow up and let them know how it turned out.

Step 4: Drop it in the Mailbox
Sending thank you notes via snail mail is extra special, but email is also all right if you can’t get someone’s address. Now grab a pen and paper and get started!

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Original Post Date: May 13th, 2015

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3 Ways Community College Can Save You Money

Categories: College Life

It’s no secret college is expensive. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average annual cost of a private four-year university has shot up to $33,716. While college is important, most people find paying for college impossible unless they have scholarships or grants to help cover the cost.

But even if you’ve taken the initiative to apply for scholarships and other sources of free money for college, a four-year school can still be out of your price range.


That’s where community colleges come in.

Community colleges sometimes get a bad rap. You may have heard that they’re for people with low GPAs. People who can’t get in anywhere else. People who weren’t motivated enough to apply to a good four-year school on time.

Guess what? None of these stereotypes are true. Community colleges offer you a huge bang for your buck, allowing you to graduate with no debt, or significantly fewer loans than you may have taken out at a four-year university. Here are some of the things you’ll save on:

With college costs skyrocketing, everyone’s trying to save money on tuition. By choosing community college, you’ll spend thousands – sometimes tens of thousands – less in tuition and fees. If you’re on a budget or haven’t been granted any scholarships or grants, community college is a great place to cut back on tuition expenses.

The majority of community college students live with their families. Even if you’re responsible for helping out by paying for groceries or certain bills, it’s significantly cheaper to live at home than it is to live in a dorm. You can also save big by eating at home instead of buying a meal plan or eating  out all the time.

If you can take public transportation to school, you’ll really be able to save big. But even driving a short distance to your local community college a few days a week can be cheap if your other option is a college on the opposite coast. The cost of plane tickets home for Thanksgiving weekend, winter break, spring break, summer vacation, and any other long weekends you want to spend with family can add up quickly.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a four-year school, but don’t discount a community college right away – it just may be your best bet when it comes to paying for college.

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Original Post Date: May 11th, 2015

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Why You Need to Take a Majors Quiz Before College

Categories: Majors & Minors

college-major-chooseSo you’ve taken our Careers and Major quiz. Now what?

It’s time to start exploring your options and making your results work for you.

We’ve reviewed how to go over your results and how the quiz can help you if you’re still a high school underclassman. But what if you’re a junior or senior who’s starting to think more seriously about the college application process? How can you make the most of your results?

Think About Which Majors You’ll Succeed In
Your parents may suggest you take up pre-med or pre-law, but these career paths aren’t for everyone. After you’ve taken the Careers and Majors quiz, see what majors interest you and what jobs they could lead to. Have you ever thought about majoring in fire science? What about homeland security? Cartography?

There are dozens of majors you may have never heard of, let alone considered. Keep an open mind and see what’s out there.

Don’t set aside your own ambitions, though. Our results may not say you were born to be a veterinarian, but if there’s no doubt in your mind that’s something you want to pursue, go for it. The quiz can still help you see what areas you’ll thrive in, and could help you choose a minor.

Keep an Eye on Other Schools
You may already have a list of prospective colleges going – that’s great. Don’t discount other schools yet, though.

Expand your school search based on your Careers and Majors quiz results. You may find that a university you’ve never heard of before is the ideal fit. Keep adding colleges to your list. You never know if you’ll want to submit another application at the last minute.

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Original Post Date: May 8th, 2015

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