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Letter of Recommendation

Writing a Letter of Recommendation

For CBO representatives, mentors to applicants, supervisors and others who would like to advocate on behalf of a student applicant.

We enthusiastically welcome your letters of support for applicants as your perspectives provide valuable insight to who they are and how they might contribute to the vibrancy of our student community.


Your letters of support may be emailed to Please include the students’ full name used in their application (no nicknames) and the high school they attend. This information helps us match your letter to the correct student’s application record.


Timing is critical. In order to read your letter in tandem with the student’s application, we ask that you submit your letters of recommendations early in the application season or immediately after the student has applied.

It is important to note the various application tracks and their respective deadlines:

  • Early Decision I (EDI) is binding and has a deadline of November 1. EDI is recommended to students for whom Santa Clara is unequivocally their first choice. Once admitted, the student is expected to enroll and retract any open applications to other colleges.
  • Early Action (EA) is the other early option with a deadline of November 1. This track is non-binding and continues to be a great choice for strong students who know that SCU is on their “short list.”
  •  Early Decision II (EDII) has a deadline of January 7. This track is another opportunity for students to commit to enrolling. Like EDI, it is binding, and is a good option for students who were not ready to commit by November 1, and those EA applicants who were deferred, but by January see SCU as a clear and absolute first choice. Admission notifications to EDII applicants are made in February, earlier than Regular Decision notifications.
  • Regular Decision (RD) has a deadline of January 7. It is non-binding and requires that students submit their 7th semester grades.
  • Fall Transfer Admission. The transfer application opens on January 7 and closes on April 15. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible before the April 15 deadline.


 When you write your letter, be sure to introduce yourself in a sentence or two and describe your affiliation with the University, if any, and most importantly, your connection with the student. Again, please include the full name and name of the high school of the applicant. Do not use nicknames. 

A letter of recommendation has more traction when it is clear that you genuinely know the student. If you are not affiliated with the student’s high school, you will have little or no information on a student’s curriculum, grades and test scores. In this case refrain from commenting on their academic progress. Trust that the academic information needed to review and evaluate an application is always provided by the high school.

Focus on the relationship you have with the student and why you have decided to write a letter of recommendation. The more direct knowledge of the student that is shared, the better. These details allow us to distinguish between “good word” letters and true advocacy. Accounts of your interaction with the applicant in an educational, service, or social setting prove particularly helpful in our holistic evaluation. Your information serves as a complement to what we may have already gleaned from the student’s application.

We appreciate your taking the time to support our applicants and future Broncos.