View Full Version : All SF Should I include letter of recs or first choice letters?

11-09-2010, 03:40 PM
Even though the schools don't ask for them, should I include letters of recommendations or a first choice letter with the application? How about pictures of the family?

11-11-2010, 03:50 PM
Keep it simple!!! No need to make your files fatter than it needs to be. You'll get your opportunity to tell the admissions director all about your child and your family during the interview.

11-11-2010, 09:15 PM
I think letters of recommendation can be extremely helpful IF they are not prohibited by the school AND they are from a parent at the school, a board member or somebody with close ties to the school. If you can get them, I think its a good idea. Not essential to getting in, but they can help give your family that all important credibility with an admissions director. Basically, the schools want to know a family will be a good fit with a school and not be extremely high-maintenance.

I think first choice letters are useful, but tricky. I used first choice letter for one school (our top choice). You can also have your preschool director or a family who wrote your recommendation letter send a first choice letter or message to the AD.

11-17-2010, 09:24 AM
A few of the schools were adamant against first choice letters. They said if your child is waitlisted, then the letters of recommendation may help.

11-17-2010, 09:54 AM
That's helpful for parents to know! I think your preschool director can be helpful in communicating the "first choice" message.

11-19-2010, 09:58 AM
Schools in SF do not look highly on first choice letters. FYI ... look at where the poster lives. If person doesn't live in SF, they might not understand the SF process.

11-19-2010, 10:30 AM
We used a first choice letter, and a letter of REC from a family we knew at the school for our 1st choice in SF and were accepted. There were some schools that did not want them. Our preschool director would only write them for families that were 10,000 percent sure they wanted a particular school b/c it puts their reputation on the line. So, not every family had one (because they didn't have a first choice) and not every school wanted them. It really depends on the school and your family.

Remember, you can ask admissions directors if they want them too. We did ask some schools that we toured if they wanted them, and some said they don't hurt, some said no. The thing that was hammered home by one school (the letters only help if you are on the wait list please don't send before that), was different for another (we love to hear that we are your first choice or from families you may know in the school community that can explain why your family would be a good match).

Like private school admissions everywhere - who knows what actually gets any of us accepted!

11-19-2010, 10:37 AM
The interesting thing about a first choice letter is that your first choice school might not be able to take you because they already have enough kids with that birthday/temperment etc. If you applied to 3 schools and you tell one that they are your first choice. You kinda kill your chances at the other schools. The AD talk.

12-10-2010, 11:56 PM
has anyone used first choice letters or letter of recs for the girls schools? seems like there is a grey area for a few of them.

01-26-2011, 08:53 PM
This may be a bit late but letters of recs are not very useful unless you're waitlisted. One of my friends knows the head of the board at one of the most sought after coeds, and even he says he doesn't have pull. Given how the process works here in the city, I have to imagine that kids get in because they fit the "criteria" that a particular school has, regardless of whether a letter of rec was submitted on their behalf.