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There are three types of letters of recommendation used for college admissions purposes. Requirements and quantity vary by campus. 
I. Teacher/Academic Recommendation
II. Counselor Recommendation + Secondary School Report
III. Optional/Supplemental Recommendation [coach, mentor, employer]
Please review these slides for an overview of these types of letters, best practices, and next steps.

I. Teacher/Academic LOR- Ask in the spring of 11th grade

Colleges and universities might ask for one or two teacher recommendations. This is where they learn how you interact and engage in the classroom. Each school has different requirements. At the most, you will need two academic letters. If you apply for an art/music/design major, you might need a letter from a teacher who has observed your talent. If you apply to a highly selective university, they sometimes specifically ask for core-content teachers in 1) STEM and 1) Humanities. 
  • Research the requirements for each college you are considering (on the school's website).
  • Decide who you will ask for a letter of recommendation, then email or ask them in person for a letter.  If they say yes, consider giving them this information to help with their letter. [Ask teacher(s) in spring of 11th grade]
  • After they agree, "invite" them via Naviance under the "Colleges" tab, then "Letters of Recommendations." How to request teachers in Naviance [Fall of 12th grade]
  • You must specify where the teacher's letter will be sent. Some schools only allow 1 teacher rec- pay attention to who you select. Once a teacher's letter has been sent, we can not "undo" it if you change your mind.
  • If you add schools after the initial request, you must repeat the request process for any newly added school. 
1. If Applying to colleges via Common Application
  • Go to and create an account
  • Add colleges to your list
  • Sign the CA FERPA Waiver & Authorization (privacy notice). YOU MUST WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS for LAHS staff to send a LOR
Waive FERPA screen
2. Link Naviance & Common App Accounts
  • Go to the "Colleges I'm Applying to" page
  • Match your Common App and Naviance Accounts by clicking on the red box that says "match accounts" and following the instructions.
  • Colleges listed in your Common App list will automatically add to this list in Naviance after they are connected.
Instructions on how to match Naviance & Common App Accounts:
Screencast - link Common App in Naviance
3. ALL STUDENTS- Complete the College List in Naviance
Add all colleges you plan on applying to, including UC, CSU, out-of-state public, out-of-state private, and international schools.
  • Type in the name of the college
  • Choose application type/round (Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, etc.)
  • Select "Via Common App" under "I'll submit my application," or for schools not on the Common App, select "Direct to Institution."
4. Transcripts- [Official: sent directly from LAHS. Unofficial or Self-Reported: student provides the information]
Common App schools: Your initial and midyear transcript will automatically be sent to all Common App schools after you complete the counselor LOR packet.
UC/CSU schools: You self-report your grades and courses in the application. If a UC or CSU emails you a request for a transcript after you apply, please request an initial or midyear transcript in Naviance, email your counselor, or visit the College & Career Center.
Non-Common App schools:  If you are applying to a college that requires an official transcript, please request an initial transcript when you add the school in Naviance. 

II. Counselor LOR, Secondary School Report (SSR) & Transcripts - Fall of senior year

If you need a counselor LOR, you will complete an Informed K12 form by the deadline; September for letters due by 11/15 and October for letters due by 12/01 or later (please check for exact dates which change each year). Your counselor will write a letter for you if you complete the packet by the deadline. The form links can be found on the LAHS Counseling page.

III. Optional/Supplemental Rec. [coach, mentor, employer]

Naviance only allows two teacher recommendations per school. Some schools allow for an additional non-academic reference that can be requested from the Common Application (never use an MVLA email address in this section). Consider if this person will add new or compelling information beyond your other references-- quality over quantity. If you aren't sure, please come to the College and Career Center to discuss it or email Ms. Duran or Ms. Price.