Student Responsibilities: Supporting the Letter Writer

After you have offered to serve as a recommender, the student is responsible for supporting you in this effort.  If the student does not provide you with supportive material, we highly encourage you to request the following (trust us, this will make the letter writing process much more efficient):

  • A brief description of the fellowship, scholarship, or opportunity the student is pursuing;
  • A list of the major criteria and a link to the relevant website;
  • Current resume;
  • A draft of their application, including essays and/or short responses. If the applicant is in the early stages of application development, then an outline or brief summary of their ideas should be offered;
  • And the submission deadline and submission instructions, including any formatting, salutation, or letterhead requirements.

This insight into what the student is applying to, why they are applying, and how they are positioning their candidacy will enable you to speak more directly to how your experience with the student and observations of their credentials and accomplishments convinces you not only that the student is prepared for the relevant opportunity but also that they are a competitive candidate.

(Feel free to copy this list of supplementary materials and/or send the student a link to this webpage!)