What is a Peer Recommendation for College?

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Your peers who were accepted or rejected by your target college can help you tremendously. Many students apply on their own to get a higher chance of admission to their chosen school. However, the fierce competition and many colleges prefer getting recommendations from previous students. This is why you need to understand what a college peer recommendation is, how it works and why it may be an advantage over self-applying.

What Does a Peer Recommendation Mean?What Does a Peer Recommendation Mean?

A college peer recommendation is written by someone who has already been accepted into a particular college or university program and wants to share their experience with others. The writer may or may not have taken the course; they may be from another school but will have an essential role in helping others decide if this new school is right for them.

Peer recommendation letters are often used in a university’s admission process. They can also be requested by students interested in specific programs or courses who want to know what other students think about them.

Do All Colleges Require a Peer Recommendation?

Do All Colleges Require a Peer Recommendation?

You should have no trouble getting into most selective colleges if you have an impressive academic record and test scores. But if you want to get into an institution requiring a peer recommendation, things get more complicated. If you are applying to an institution that does not require a peer recommendation, then it is likely that a committee will review your application.

To be recommended by peers, you need to know who these people are and what their recommendations are worth. You can find out how many students at your school were placed in the same major as you through the course catalog or by asking around campus. You can also ask the admissions office for this information if they have it on file.

Once you have determined which colleges require peer recommendations, it becomes easier to understand why they do so. Most colleges look for recommendations from professors who know both of you well and will be able to advise about your strengths and weaknesses as an applicant.

Some schools also require recommendations from current students or alumni who attended the same school together and therefore have insight into each other’s personalities and academic abilities.

Whom Should You Ask for a Reference?

Whom Should You Ask for a Reference?

A lot of students and graduates struggle with college peer recommendation references. This can happen because people don’t know whom to ask and are shy about giving a good reference. When you need to seek someone out for a recommendation or reference, below are the people you should ask.

Friend From School

It is imperative to ask for a peer recommendation from your friends. They know you better than anyone else and can give you a good insight into whether you are ready for college or not. Friends are also more likely to help you with the application process because they will know what works for them and what doesn’t.

If your friends have graduated from college, they will have an idea of what it takes to get into college, what classes you should take, and even how much money you should put aside each month in case there are any unexpected expenses while at school.

Your Sibling

While friends are great, asking your siblings for a reference or recommendation is essential. This is because they have likely gone through the college application process before you and can offer their unique perspective.

Siblings can also help provide support during the college application process. They can help you fill out forms, edit your essay, and even help you pick the right school for you.

Your Parents

Of course, your parents should be one of the first people you ask for a reference or recommendation. They have known you for your entire life and can offer insight into your character that no one else can.

Your parents can also help you with the college application process. They can help you fill out forms, write your essay, and even help you pick the right school for you.

How Do You Write a Peer Recommendation?

How Do You Write a Peer Recommendation?

A peer recommendation is a method of securing the faith of potential students. It exposes your best qualities and suggestions to new peers who will benefit from them. However, writing a peer recommendation is crucial in your professional career or joining an association or society.


Brainstorm the qualities your friend has that would make them a good candidate for the college or university to which they are applying. Try to be as specific as possible.

For example, if your friend is applying to college, you might mention his intelligence, motivation, leadership, and organizational skills.

After brainstorming a list of qualities, focus on three to five personal attributes or traits that stand out the most to you. These are the qualities you will want to highlight in your letter. For example, you might write that your friend is intelligent, hardworking, motivated, organized, and a good leader.

Outline and Draft

Once you have brainstormed a list of qualities, it is time to start writing your letter. Begin by introducing yourself and explaining how you know the person you are writing the letter to. Next, provide a specific example of when your friend displayed the qualities you are highlighting.

After providing an example, please explain why you think your friend would be a good candidate for the college they are applying to. Finally, conclude your letter by reiterating your support for your friend’s application.

Edit and Review

After you have written your letter, take some time to edit and review it. Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. In addition, make sure that your letter is clear and concise. Ask a friend or family member to read your letter and provide feedback if you need to.

Submit Your Letter

Once you have edited and reviewed your letter, it is time to submit it. Most colleges will allow you to submit your letter online. However, some may require that you mail your letter directly to the college. Check the submission requirements for the college to which your friend is applying.

Example of a Peer Recommendation for College

Example of a Peer Recommendation for College

Below is a peer reference letter example that will help you give and your chosen peers on how to construct an effective college peer recommendation letter.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to recommend John Smith for admission to XYZ College. I have known John for four years. We met in our first year of high school and have been good friends ever since.

I remember one time when we were working on a group project for history class. John took charge and organized us so we could complete the project on time and receive a good grade.

I think John would be a great candidate for XYZ College because he is intelligent, hardworking, and a good leader. I am confident that John will be a successful student at XYZ College, and I am proud to recommend him for admission.

Pros and Cons of Submitting Peer Recommendation Letters

Pros and Cons of Submitting Peer Recommendation Letters

Peer recommendation letters, or letters of recommendation written by your peers rather than authority figures such as teachers, carry a lot of weight regarding college and job applications. There are pros and cons to submitting peer recommendation letters. Let’s take a look at both.


Peer Recommendation Letters Enhance Your College Application Package

Because they provide insight into your character that cannot be found in your transcript or test scores, your peers can attest to your work ethic, leadership qualities, and personal strengths. In addition, because adults do not write peer recommendation letters, they carry more weight with admissions officers looking for well-rounded and mature applicants.

Peer Recommendation Letters Offer a More Objective Approach

The advantage of submitting peer recommendation letters is that they are usually written by people who know you well and therefore have a better understanding of your skills and capabilities than those outside the organization who might have read your resume and cover letter.

Also, since these letters are written by individuals who know you intimately, they often emphasize positive traits such as leadership qualities or initiative, which may not be mentioned in your application materials.

Peer Recommendation Letters Give the Candidate Student More Credibility

Another reason to consider submitting peer recommendation letters is that they offer more credibility than self-written letters of recommendation. In other words, when an admissions officer or employer sees that you have been recommended by someone who knows you and can vouch for your abilities, it carries more weight than a letter you wrote.

Peer Recommendation Letters Help to Build Up the Student’s Profile

In addition, peer recommendation letters help to build up the student’s profile in a way that self-written letters of recommendation cannot. By including peer recommendations, you are effectively increasing the number of people who can speak to your character and abilities, which makes for a more well-rounded and impressive application.

Peer Recommendation Letters Provide an Unbiased View of the Student Applicant

Finally, another significant advantage of peer recommendation letters is that they provide an unbiased view of the student applicant. Since your peers are not related to you or invested in your success in the way that family members or teachers might be, their letters offer a more objective perspective on your strengths and weaknesses.


Submitting Peer Recommendation Letters Requires Time and Energy

The first is that submitting peer recommendation letters requires time, effort, and energy. You will need to track down your peers and ask them to write letters on your behalf, which can be time-consuming.

In addition, you will need to provide your peers with all the necessary information about what you are applying for and what they should include in their letters. This can add even more time and effort to the process.

A Student May Not Have Peers Who Know Them Well Enough to Write a Good Letter

Another potential drawback of peer recommendation letters is that students may not have peers who know them well enough to write a good recommendation letter. If you are applying to college and your peers are still in high school, they may not have the necessary insight into your character and abilities to write a strong letter of recommendation.

The same is true if you are applying for a job and your peers are unfamiliar with your work. In these cases, it may be better to seek out letters from other sources.

Some Students Don’t Have Peers They Are Comfortable Asking to Write a Recommendation Letter

Some students don’t have peers they are comfortable with asking to write a letter on their behalf. This can be for various reasons, such as not having close relationships with peers or feeling awkward about asking someone to write a letter of recommendation.

If this is the case, you may consider other options for your letters of recommendation, such as family members or teachers.

There is Always the Potential for Negative Letters

Even if you have good relationships with your peers, there is always the possibility that someone will write less than a glowing letter. If this happens, it could hurt your chances of getting into the school or job you are applying for. Therefore, it is vital to choose your references carefully and make sure they are people you are confident will write positive letters on your behalf.

Peer Recommendation Letters May Not Hold as Much Weight as Other Types of Letters

Finally, college peer recommendation letters may not hold as much weight as other types of letters, such as those from teachers or employers. This is because your peers are not seen as experts in the same way that these different groups are.

For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that your application materials are strong enough to stand independently without the need for peer recommendations.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a Peer Recommendation for College?

A college peer recommendation is a unique alternative to the usual teacher and counselor recommendations that colleges ask for. It allows you to recommend one of your peers to a school of choice anywhere in the country.

Because peer recommendations can benefit college admissions, students need to understand what they are and how to use them effectively. By understanding this guide on peer recommendations, you can better inform yourself on how to get the most out of your recommendation letters and improve your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice.

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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