3 excellent letter of recommendation samples for students

Published on: Sep 16, 20227 min read
3 excellent letter of recommendation samples for students


  • What to include in a letter of recommendation?
  • Positive Letter of Recommendation examples
  • Conclusion

When your students start their college and higher education applications, they are likely to ask you for a letter of recommendation.

Generally, a letter of recommendation provides an overview and a positive case for a student's higher education application. Often, teachers and educators provide these letters for college and university applications.

A letter of recommendation is important for colleges to see because it provides the admissions officers with an all-around view of the student. Institutions must get as clear a view as possible of a possible student.

In this article, we share three strong examples of positive letters of recommendation that focus on different student strengths. Also, we outline what makes a strong letter and tips on how to form a strong recommendation for your students. 

What to include in a letter of recommendation?

Firstly, we explain what you should generally include in any letter of recommendation. When writing your letter, try to include the following features.

  • Your contact information.
  • The date of writing.
  • Contact information of the admissions officer or institution.
  • A formal greeting.
  • An introduction of your role and relationship with a student.
  • Explanations of the student’s strengths and recommendations for them.
  • Short real-life examples about the student.
  • A conclusion and summary of recommendations.
  • Closing paragraph and signature. 

Positive letter of recommendation samples

Here, we share some positive letter of recommendation samples to give you an idea of the content, tone and layout of the document. Also, we provide a short analysis of the good parts of each letter.

These letters are generally positive and should focus on a student's pros and key achievements at school. 

Example 1

Sam Smith (Teacher at School or College)

135 Main Street, Central Town, 77016, Texas


Monday 5th September 2022

Admissions Committee

University of Texas, Austin

Inner Campus Dr., Austin

78712; Texas

Dear Admissions Committee,

As John Jones’ teacher, I formally recommend this student for the English undergraduate course at the University of Texas, Austin. 

I have taught John in English classes for the past two years and he has been an impressive, creative and hard-working student. John has also displayed a high level of maturity and intellect in English as well as a strong enthusiasm to learn more in this subject.

On many occasions, John has displayed his strengths and talent for English. For example, he wrote an excellent analytical essay about the themes in John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ that used strong examples from the text to highlight his arguments. John also displayed excellent teamwork and leadership skills when completing a group project about ‘The Great Gatsby.

John has also contributed to the wider school community on many occasions. This year, he helped to organise a charity fun run to raise money for various charities. The event was well received by staff, parents and students and John received praise for his role in setting up and collecting donations during the event.

I have no hesitation in recommending John for the English undergraduate course at the University of Texas, Austin. I am confident he would achieve well on the course and be an asset to your institution.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at 123-123-1234.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Smith


Overall, this sample letter has everything needed for a strong recommendation. It highlights many of the student's academic achievements, showing they are ready for undergraduate study.

Also, the teacher uses real-life examples, such as specific essay writing skills and strong extra-curricular achievements. These help to provide a rounded and positive picture of this student. 

The tone is positive and the teacher indicates that they know the applicant as both a student and as a person outside of classes. 

Example 2

Sam Smith (Teacher at School or College)

135 Main Street, Central Town, 77016, Texas


Monday 5th September 2022

Admissions Committee

Iowa University

Iowa City

52242, Iowa

Dear Admissions Committee,

With great pleasure, I recommend Sarah Jones for admission to the Mathematics course and Iowa University. 

Sarah has been in my mathematics class this year and teaching her has been a privilege. She is a determined student that always gives 100% for every task and she regularly shows an understanding of math topics at an advanced level. 

On many occasions, Sarah has shown a willingness to go beyond her class time to improve her math knowledge. For instance, Sarah helped her peers set up a group study programme to help each other revise and prepare for upcoming examinations. This showed initiative, helpfulness and maturity.

Beyond her academic studies, Sarah is an active participant in wider school life. Throughout her time at this school, she has taken part in athletics competitions and events and also coached the younger students on occasion. Furthermore, she has received various awards for playing the trumpet in the school band and she took part in a trip to perform at the local concert hall that parents and teachers praised. 

I do not doubt that Sarah would be a positive and enthusiastic student at Iowa University. She is a student with many skills that would help her to succeed at the undergraduate level.

For any further information or questions, please contact me at 123-123-1234

Yours Sincerely,

Sam Smith


This letter of recommendation focuses on the student's ability to go the extra mile to succeed in their studies. It also highlights ways the student worked hard to improve academic grades and standards.

In addition, it looks at the student’s strengths in terms of extra-curricular activities and achievements. This shows how recommendations can pick key events and examples from a student’s time at school that will be useful at university. 

Overall, the tone is very formal and it highlights how the student is a proactive member of the school community. 

Example 3

Sam Smith (Teacher at School or College)

135 Main Street, Central Town, 77016, Texas


Monday 5th September 2022

Admissions Committee

Northeastern Illinois University

5500 N St Louis Ave

60625, Illinois

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to you today to provide my recommendation for Steven Sawyer to complete the BA in Justice Studies at Northeastern University, Illinois.

I have taught Steven in English for the last two years and he is a dedicated student who is committed to pursuing a long-term career in law. Steven has demonstrated many academic and personal skills that would help him to complete the Justice Studies course.

In my classes, Steven has shown advanced analytical skills when looking at evidence and arguments in various high-level literature. This included unpicking the strengths and weaknesses in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, which Steven put into a compelling argument in his essay on the topic. Also, he has regularly shown confidence to read passages in class and when presenting arguments and ideas in written and spoken form. 

Outside of our English classes, Steven has shown a dedication to a career in law by volunteering at a local law firm during the school holidays. This shows how committed he is to achieve in this career path. Steven has also taken a lead role in the debate club to further his presentation and analysis skills.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Steven for the BA Justice Studies course at Northeastern University. He has regularly demonstrated the skills and desire to enroll on this course and he would bring passion to his studies at your institution.

Please contact me at 123-123-1234 for any questions or queries.

Yours Sincerely,

Sam Smith


This example shows how a letter of recommendation can focus on a student’s commitment to a particular area of study or career. At various points, the writer highlights the dedication of the student to start a career in law. This is shown by specific examples in academic achievements, such as strong analytical skills and communication.

However, the letter still focuses on some examples that highlight the student’s personality and interests. For instance, it praises the student’s involvement in extracurricular clubs to show an engagement in activities outside of academia. 


When writing a letter of recommendation, ensure you focus on the positives. Also, you must pick two to three of the student’s strong traits. Then, try to recount some key examples where they have demonstrated these skills.  

Overall, the letter aims to help your student to stand out to the Admissions Committee. Keeping the letter short, to the point and clear helps the committee to get a snapshot of the student’s capabilities and personality.

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