Once you’ve received a letter of recommendation to accompany your college application, you may think your job is done. Think again – you need to make sure to write a thank you letter or note to the person who helped you get this far. Follow a few simple tips to properly thank those who showed their support.

Why You Need to Write a Thank You Letter

A thank you letter is a must when someone, such as your teacher or principal, has written a letter of recommendation for you. College applications aren't complete without this type of endorsement, and it takes time and care to compose one. In fact, teachers, administrators and coaches are often asked to write quite a few letters for college applications, so you want to be sure to show appreciation for the time they dedicated to you.

Thank You Letter for a Recommendation

The letter you write doesn’t need to be particularly long, but it should cover a few important points. First, thank your teacher for her time and effort. Let her know you’re aware her time is valuable. Secondly, thank her for the sentiments she shared in her letter – after all, what she wrote helped you lock in your selected college. Finally, let her know where you'll be attending school and what your future holds. If you know what you’ll be majoring in, add that as well – your teacher will likely be interested in learning about your plans.

Thank You Letter for a Recommendation Example

Compose a thank you letter along these lines:

Dear Mrs. Smith,

Thank you for taking the time to write the letter of recommendation for my college application. I know how busy you are and appreciate your help so much. Your assessment of my skills and abilities perfectly completed my submission. I’m excited to share I’ll be attending Anytown University in the fall and plan to major in business. I appreciate the positive impact you've had on my life. Thank you again!


Jane Brown

Final Thoughts

While it may be tempting to send an email, be sure to send your thank you letter in the mail or deliver it in person, as it adds a more personal touch. Handwrite your letter in an appealing thank you card or type a letter on printed stationery to enhance its appeal. Remember to not let too much time pass before sending the card – the sooner your teacher receives the letter, the better.

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