Recommended, but not required?

November 13, 2006 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

Posted by Dee

What exactly does “recommended, but not required” mean?

You see this phrase every now and again in college application guidelines regarding interviews or additional essays or supplementary recommendations, etc. But when an AdComm writes this, do they honestly mean that they don’t care if you submit it or not, or is it a test where they say it’s not required but they actually do expect you to complete it?

My conclusion is if they say a part of the application is “recommended, but not required,” do it! I don’t think it’s a test so much as if they recommend it, and you’re serious about going to a school, there’s probably good reason they recommend completing something.

But, it may depend on which part of the application it is. I’ll give examples on three of the most common areas of the application where this phrase is applied.

Essays — if they say an additional essay is “recommended, but not required,” then definitely include another essay unless you’ll just be restating everything you said in the first ones. Use the supplementary essay as an opportunity to present new information or stories.

Interviews — if they say an interview is “recommended, but not required,” then definitely, DO an interview. Unless it’s just physically not possible for you to arrange a time and place for your interview, maybe because interviews aren’t offered in your area for example, then you can forego the interview.

Recommendations — if they say an additional recommendation is “recommended, but not required,” then also, definitely submit an extra recommendation. Why wouldn’t you want the AdComm to read about another person saying good things about you? So that brings me to my point; if you know the additional recommendation would present good things about you then definitely submit it, but if you’re scrounging to find another teacher or coach to write a recommendation just because it’s “recommended” and you’re worried they may not have the best things to say, then just don’t submit the extra rec.


Entry filed under: Admissions, Answer, Application, Checklist, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Description, Essays, Flexibility, Guideline, Interviews, Motivation, Myth, Question, Reading, Recommendations, Teacher, Timing, Tips/Tricks, Writing.

Typical ACT scores for specific top schools Googling your interviewers… creepy, or cool?

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