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Writing Great Letters of Recommendation

Don Asher explains how Sewanee's GPA factors into graduate school applications.

On September 20th, the Center for Teaching was grateful to co-host (with Career and Leadership Development) Don Asher, who is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the graduate admissions process. Mr. Asher provided those in attendance with some ideas and tips to improve the recommendation letters that our students need as they take the next step after Sewanee. He also gave us several tools that we can use the next time we are considering writing a letter on behalf of one of our students.

Don suggested that students submit their graduate school applications earlier than the deadline. For those applying to graduate programs in the social sciences and the humanities, submitting an application 10 days early is suggested. For those in the STEM fields, submitting 3 weeks prior to the deadline is encouraged. Another suggestion involved the number of institutions to which a student should apply. Students should consider at least 10 institutions when going through the graduate school application process.

Asher has authored 12 books, including Graduate Admission Essays, the best-selling guide to the graduate admissions process. A copy of the handout that he distributed during the discussion is available HERE. The CFT has a copy of his book to loan, if you are interested in borrowing it.