College applications require one, dedicated recommendation from a college counselor at the school which the student attends.
In this brave new world in which we live, however, it is highly likely that high school college counselors may never have met their advisees in “real life,” in the flesh, when they are called upon to recommend them.
The meeting that would normally take place in Spring of 11th grade, will have to be postponed till the fall of 12th grade, IF it can even take place then.
But no one knows whether schools will open or not, and thus whether that meeting will happen online, just as all the others have since March of 2020, or whether students and their counselors will actually meet in person.
Many college counselors, even under normal circumstances, require their advisees to fill out a questionnaire or “rave sheet” that will help the counselor write a recommendation when he or she sits down to do so.
This year that “rave sheet” is more important than ever!
In fact, in lieu of actually meeting, the rave sheet will act as a bridge between the virtual and real and help the counselor either recall or get to know for the first time the student for whom they are writing a recommendation.
Although not all counselors will request one, I personally think it’s a great idea to provide them with one anyway.
And these rave sheets need to be super well-written. It is likely the counselor will pull phrases from the rave sheet, or even use pieces of what you have written about yourself verbatim.
Helping edit rave sheets is one of the tasks I am asked to help with. In fact, I’m working with students on these right now.
Recently, parents have asked me to send them sample rave sheets so they can start their kids working on them.
Here is a sample I have quilted together from various rave sheets that have passed across my desk.
This year in particular, I would add a question about how distance/remote learning has impacted you, as well as how you’ve been affected by COVID-19.
If you’re interested in receiving a sample rave sheet, here is one I have created as a guideline or template for students wanting to give their college counselors a good sense of who they are.
I would be happy to review your rave sheet once you complete it and even to help you edit it before you submit it to your recommenders.