30 Free Letter of Recommendation for Student Templates

A Letter of Recommendation for a student highlights the student’s academic abilities. It also shows the skills and quality of character of an applicant for an admission opportunity.

The letter is usually prepared by someone who knows them and can speak of their academic and professional abilities and accomplishments. It will be needed to help them enter a college to pursue academic studies. A student may also need a recommendation letter to get a scholarship or to get into a graduate program of study.

Many times, admissions offices put a great emphasis on recommendation letters, especially in cases of selective admissions. In a mountain of thousands of qualified students, a recommendation letter differentiates a student from the rest and gives them a spot. Often, admissions offices look for two things in this letter; in-depth insight about academic and personal skills, and a student’s potential to add to or contribute to the university or college community.

It puts the referee in a position to vouch for the student’s abilities or personal qualities. For instance, speak about their integrity, leadership skills, and compassion. The descriptions give the admissions office a holistic perspective that is beyond what is seen in the grades or application letter.

Free Templates

Following are some free, downloadable templates for you:

Free Undergraduate Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Great Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word Document

Free Education Masters Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free International Studies Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free English Studies Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free Physics Scholarship Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free Masters Program Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Great Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word Document

Great Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Template 03 for Word Document

Great Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Template 04 for Word Document

Free Architecture School Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free English Professor Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Free Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Template 05 as Word Format

Formal MBA Degree Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal Academics Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal Academic Advisor Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal Communications Program Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal Senior-Level Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal 11th Grade Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

Formal Volunteer Program Student Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

    Common Types

    The following are some types of letters:

    Free Printable Student Recommendation Letter for Business Program Sample 01 as Letter Sample

    Business Program Student Recommendation Letter Sample

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Great Editable Student Recommendation Letter for Internship Program Sample 01

    Internship Program Student Recommendation Letter Sample

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Great Downloadable Student Recommendation Letter in English and Literature Department Sample 01 as Email Format

    English and Literature Department Student Recommendation Letter Sample

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

      How to Write a Recommendation Letter

      When a student requests it, whether for college, to get a scholarship, or to start graduate studies, it is crucial to do the best for him. So, we should pay some attention and write a well-crafted letter to get the required result.

      Then, organize the letter to present the required information acceptably, as outlined below:

      Section 1: Address of your letter

      It is of extreme importance to address the letter appropriately to make it personalized for the person who will read it. Collect the addressee’s details and the role they play in the application process. The letter could be addressed to the admissions counselor, the program director, the department head, or the hiring manager. The letter could also be addressed to the human resources department or the college’s admission office, in case the student does not know exactly who the letter should address. You can also keep the letter general if s/he is applying to several colleges. But try to have the letter highlight the student’s special attributes for the colleges.

      Include your contact information

      For a formal printed letter, include your contact information and the recipient’s information at the top of the letter.


      Include a salutation to start a personal recommendation. Adding a greeting or salutation helps to connect with the recipient of the letter.


      You can use “Dear Dr. George” or “Dear Ms. Starkov.”

      Section 2: The introduction of the letter

      The first paragraph is the introduction and an important part of your letter. It sets the tone for the rest of the letter, grabs the interest of the recipient, and encourages them to continue reading.

      Introduce yourself

      Introduce yourself to establish your credibility as a teacher. This will give weight to your opinion of the admissions board. Say who you are and how you are qualified to write on behalf of the student. Give your job title and the course you taught. You can also describe your role in clubs and extracurricular activities in which the student was involved if you did not have him in your class.

      Explain your relationship

      Also included in the introduction is your relationship with the candidate. Mention how you know the student and for how long. You can give an account of your role in his academic life. You can also give your early impressions, especially the development you have seen in them. Write about how you were impressed with the quality of his work in classroom assignments and other academic areas.

      State the reason for writing the letter

      You share what you know and explain why s/he deserves the opportunity being offered. It may be admitted to a college, a graduate program, or a scholarship.

      Section 3: Body of the letter

      Section 3 must include the following components:

      Describe academic performance

      Many universities often look for those who can contribute to and improve the institution. Tell the admissions committee members how the student, being recommended, can do that. Let the admissions counselor know how he or she will get involved. Name the organizations and clubs that will allow participation. Show potential success based on contributions made to your school, drawn from your resume or academic record.


      Include examples from:

      • Involvement in sports
      • Membership in clubs
      • Voluntary work as a contribution to the school
      • Competitions engaged in, awards, and recognitions gained
      • Group or Individual projects worked on
      • Presentations made and public speaking participation
      • Leadership roles assumed, such as captain of a team or president of a club
      • Academic performance, such as improving and maintaining grades and achieving excellence.

      Section 4: Conclusion

      Close the letter by restating your support for the student’s application. And state your availability to answer more questions. You will be glad to say more about your experience with and recommendation of the student. You can include your phone number and your email address as options for contacting you. This last part can show the university or college that you believe in his abilities. It will also give your endorsement to the student for the program that they are applying to.

      Section 5: Closing

      Close it like a formal letter closing, i.e., with your name and title printed and your signature under your typed name.


      Your name


      When sending an email, close the recommendation letter with only your name and contact information.


      Your name,
      Phone number, email address

      Template: Letter of Recommendation for a Student

      [Your Name]

      [Your Position]

      [Your Institution/Organization]

      [Institution/Organization Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

      [Email Address]

      [Phone Number]


      [Recipient’s Name]

      [Recipient’s Position]

      [Recipient’s Institution/Organization]

      [Institution/Organization Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

      Dear [Recipient’s Name],

      I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Student’s Name] for [Specific Program/Position] at [Institution/Company Name]. As [Your Position], I have had the pleasure of observing and evaluating [Student’s Name]’s academic performance and personal growth over the past [Number of Years/Months] at [Your Institution/Organization]. [Student’s Name]’s dedication to [Specific Field/Area of Study] is evident through their outstanding academic achievements and their proactive involvement in [Relevant Activities/Projects].

      [Student’s Name] has consistently demonstrated a high level of competence in [Specific Skills or Subjects], showcasing not only their ability to absorb and apply complex concepts but also their willingness to engage in challenging projects. A notable example of their exceptional work includes [Describe a Specific Project or Achievement], which not only highlighted their analytical and creative abilities but also their capacity to work collaboratively with peers and faculty.

      Beyond their academic prowess, [Student’s Name] exhibits remarkable character traits such as [List Character Traits, e.g., leadership, resilience, empathy]. [Provide an Example or Anecdote that Illustrates These Traits], further illustrating their readiness and suitability for [Specific Program/Position].

      [Student’s Name]’s ability to balance academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities, such as [Mention Any Clubs, Sports, Volunteer Work], speaks volumes about their time management skills and their commitment to a well-rounded educational experience. Their enthusiasm and positive attitude have made a significant impact on our community, inspiring peers and faculty members alike.

      I am confident that [Student’s Name] will bring the same level of excellence, dedication, and innovative thinking to [Specific Program/Position] at [Institution/Company Name]. They are fully prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and I believe they will make a valuable contribution to your program.

      Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] if you require any further information or insights regarding [Student’s Name]’s capabilities and potential. I look forward to seeing the contributions [Student’s Name] will undoubtedly make to your institution.

      Thank you for considering my recommendation.


      [Your Name]

      [Your Position]

      [Your Institution/Organization]

      Letter Samples

      For Students Applying to College

      Dear Admissions Committee,

      It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Alex Martinez for admission into the Graduate Program in Environmental Science at Prestige University. As a Professor of Environmental Studies at City College, I have had the distinct pleasure of teaching Alex in three of my upper-level courses and supervising their senior thesis project. Throughout this time, Alex has distinguished themselves not only through their academic excellence but also through their innovative research and unwavering commitment to environmental conservation.

      Alex’s academic record is a testament to their intellectual curiosity and dedication. They consistently ranked in the top 5% of their class, demonstrating a profound understanding of complex environmental issues and a remarkable ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical problems. For instance, in their research project titled “Urban Sustainability: Innovative Solutions for Green Cities,” Alex developed a comprehensive plan to enhance urban green spaces through sustainable landscaping practices, which was recognized by the City College Environmental Research Forum for its originality and potential impact.

      Beyond their academic achievements, Alex has shown exceptional leadership and initiative outside the classroom. They founded the Environmental Awareness Club at City College, leading numerous community clean-up projects and educational workshops that raised awareness about sustainable living practices among students and local residents. Alex’s ability to inspire action and collaboration among their peers is truly commendable and speaks volumes about their character and leadership qualities.

      What sets Alex apart is their genuine passion for environmental science and their determination to make a tangible difference in the world. Whether through academic research, community service, or leadership activities, Alex consistently seeks out opportunities to contribute to environmental sustainability. Their ambitious vision for a greener future, combined with their solid academic foundation in environmental studies, makes them an ideal candidate for your graduate program.

      I have no doubt that Alex will thrive in the rigorous academic environment at Prestige University and will contribute significantly to your academic community. Their dedication, intellect, and innovative thinking will make them a valuable asset to your program and the broader field of environmental science. I strongly endorse their application and am confident that Alex Martinez will exceed your expectations as a graduate student.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or insights regarding Alex’s qualifications and achievements. I am eager to see the contributions Alex will undoubtedly make to the field of environmental science and am confident that they will achieve great success in your graduate program.


      Dr. Jordan Lee

      Professor of Environmental Studies

      City College

      For Students Applying for Graduate Program

      Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

      I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Jamie Robinson for admission to the PhD program in Artificial Intelligence at Global Tech University. As the Head of the Computer Science Department at Innovation University, I have had the pleasure of knowing Jamie for four years, during which they completed their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under my mentorship. Throughout this period, Jamie has consistently demonstrated exceptional intellectual curiosity, a robust analytical mindset, and an unwavering dedication to advancing the field of Artificial Intelligence.

      Jamie’s academic prowess is evident in their outstanding GPA and their active participation in our department’s research initiatives. Notably, Jamie’s Master’s thesis, which focused on the development of a novel machine learning algorithm to enhance predictive models in healthcare, has been published in the prestigious Journal of AI Research. This work not only showcases Jamie’s technical expertise and innovative thinking but also their ability to apply complex AI principles to solve real-world problems.

      Beyond their academic achievements, Jamie has exhibited remarkable leadership and collaborative skills. They played a pivotal role in our department’s AI Research Group, leading a team of peers in a multi-disciplinary project that aimed to design AI-driven solutions for sustainable urban development. Jamie’s ability to bridge diverse fields of study and foster a collaborative environment has not only contributed to the project’s success but also inspired their peers to pursue their research interests with greater passion and determination.

      Jamie’s dedication to the AI field extends beyond academia. They have actively engaged with the wider AI community, participating in international conferences, workshops, and hackathons. Through these platforms, Jamie has not only broadened their knowledge and network but also demonstrated their commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

      What truly sets Jamie apart is their visionary approach to AI research. They possess a rare blend of technical acumen, creative problem-solving skills, and ethical consideration. Jamie is deeply committed to leveraging AI to address societal challenges, and their research proposals for your PhD program reflect a thoughtful and impactful direction for future work.

      I am confident that Jamie Robinson will be an outstanding addition to the PhD program at Global Tech University. Their exceptional talent, coupled with a genuine passion for AI and a proven track record of research and collaboration, makes them a prime candidate for advanced study and significant contributions to the field. I eagerly anticipate the innovative solutions and advancements that Jamie will undoubtedly bring to the academic and practical realms of Artificial Intelligence.

      Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or insights regarding Jamie’s qualifications and achievements. I am convinced that Jamie will exceed your expectations and become a valuable asset to your PhD program and the broader AI research community.


      Dr. Elena Torres

      Head of the Computer Science Department

      Innovation University


      (555) 123-4567

      for students applying for scholarships

      Dear Scholarship Selection Committee,

      I am delighted to write this letter in support of Taylor Kim’s application for the Excellence in Science Scholarship. As Taylor’s Advanced Chemistry teacher and Science Club advisor at Lincoln High School, I have witnessed their remarkable journey of academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement over the past three years. Taylor’s exceptional dedication to their studies and their passion for scientific research make them an ideal candidate for this prestigious scholarship.

      Taylor stands out not only for their academic excellence but also for their innate curiosity and determination to delve deeper into the world of science. They have maintained a straight-A record throughout their high school career, consistently ranking at the top of their class. However, it is Taylor’s ability to apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems that truly sets them apart. Their innovative project on “Sustainable Water Purification Techniques” won first place at the State Science Fair, showcasing their potential to contribute meaningful solutions to global challenges.

      Beyond academics, Taylor has demonstrated commendable leadership skills and a commitment to community service. As president of the Science Club, they organized numerous initiatives, including a community clean-up campaign and a STEM workshop for elementary students. These efforts not only spread awareness about environmental issues but also inspired younger students to explore science and technology. Taylor’s ability to lead by example and their genuine desire to make a positive impact on their community reflect the qualities of a true scholar and leader.

      Taylor’s contributions extend beyond school activities. They have volunteered over 200 hours at the local science museum, facilitating workshops and exhibits to engage the public in science education. This experience has not only deepened Taylor’s understanding of scientific concepts but also honed their communication and public speaking skills, enabling them to effectively share their knowledge with a broader audience.

      What impresses me most about Taylor is their resilience and adaptability. Despite facing personal challenges, Taylor has never allowed these obstacles to hinder their academic pursuits or their commitment to serving others. Their unwavering determination and positive attitude serve as an inspiration to their peers and teachers alike.

      I am confident that Taylor Kim is an exceptional candidate for the Excellence in Science Scholarship. Their academic achievements, leadership qualities, and dedication to community service exemplify the values this scholarship seeks to promote. Supporting Taylor’s educational journey will not only enable them to continue their pursuit of scientific excellence but also empower them to make significant contributions to society in the future.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or insights regarding Taylor’s achievements and character. I am eager to see the impact Taylor will undoubtedly make in the field of science and beyond.


      Dr. Samantha Lee

      Advanced Chemistry Teacher and Science Club Advisor

      Lincoln High School


      (555) 987-6543

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        Last Minute Tips

        Include key content

        A recommendation letter should not be a repetition of what has already been stated in the application letter, like grades, awards, and clubs. Remember that the admissions office is looking for more insight. However, this does not mean you cannot mention what he has achieved.


        You can mention something s/he started that portrays their capability to be initiative-driven such as mentioning that the student launched a campaign to end the stigma that LGBT students face at their school.

        While the recommender does not necessarily have to have all the answers, they should include information that will demonstrate specific skills, passion, talents, and intellectual curiosity. A strong letter of recommendation gives insights into the student’s motivations, intellectual orientation, and personal qualities.

        State the crucial themes

        In the same way, you do not go about repeating the same things listed in the application letter; you do not state all the qualities that make the student great. In most cases, while an all-rounded student might pass as exceptional, it might be different from what the admissions office is looking for.

        Many times, a singular achievement in a specific area may go a long way over many activities. This is because it shows his ability to focus on an initiative and his passion and commitment to it. Focusing on the most important themes will highlight the student’s dedication and ability to maintain long-term goals, which is what many institutions look for in new applicants. Once you identify specific themes, you could include a story or observation to support your claim.

        Offer specific instances

        Sentences paint a clear picture of the student, yes, but an example makes the picture vivid. Giving specific examples of abilities or achievements offers grounds on which the teacher has concluded. Examples also make the letter interesting.

        However, you ought to be careful not to get carried away and give a long story since it might defeat the whole purpose of the recommendation letter being official. You should give examples that prove you, as the recommender, are qualified to assess him. That is, a class teacher may be in a better position to know the student due to long contact.

        Employ powerful words

        Forget the cliché phrases to describe, most of the admission offices are used to them. You need to make him stand out. Using phrases like ‘go-getter, a friend with a golden heart’ and the others will get the letter as far as eliciting a yawn and a roll of the eyes. Picture this, using the words ‘hard-working’ to describe a student and using ‘intellectual risk-taker.’ You have to admit, the phrase ‘intellectual risk-taker’ sounds more powerful and is likely to make the admissions officer glow up. Some of the strong words to describe academic excellence include; insightful, curious, innovative, observant, analytical, etc. to describe the character you can use; flexible, empathetic, leader, ethical, motivated, and ambitious.

        Lastly, you can rank the student accordingly, if need be and state all the essential information. Remember that you are recommending him for a special stage of their life and they have trusted you to make it possible to pass it. The key things to highlight are his academic potential, personality, and character. Also, mention any other detail you think might make it easier for the admissions office to get a deeper understanding of what the s/he can do.

        Key Takeaways

        • Write a recommendation letter, and you can speak directly about their qualifications.
        • Get details of the recipient’s name, email, and the date the letter is due.
        • Request an up-to-date resume and details of the purpose for which the reference is needed.
        • Include examples of relevant skills, qualities, and experiences of the student.

        About This Article

        Christopher Taylor
        Authored by:
        Teaching | PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies
        Christopher Taylor is a renowned expert in teaching. Currently serving as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas, he combines his deep knowledge of literature and art to create visually stunning and impactful designs. With a PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, Christopher brings a unique perspective to his work, fusing creativity with academic rigor to produce engaging and captivating lectures.

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