Provided below is the advice given directly by the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program about your two required letters of recommendation:
Ask two individuals who know you well, whose opinions you trust, and who want to see you succeed to write your reference letters. These recommenders must be able to provide specific examples, anecdotes, and evidence. Register the recommenders through your online application as early in the application process as possible. Recommendations are due by the application deadline: October 9, 2019 at 1:00 Pacific Time. (Don’t worry: you can submit your application even if your recommenders haven’t submitted your letters.)
The application system will send each recommender a personalized link to submit her/his recommendation online. For verification purposes, register your recommender using her/his work email account, not a personal account such as Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. Here are a few things to consider as you choose recommenders:
- We care about the content of the letter, not about merely the title or status of the person who wrote it.
- The strongest letters we receive come from individuals who have interacted with you closely, extensively, and recently.The recommendations may be academic or professional.
- It is inappropriate to ask a family member to provide a recommendation. Also, consider that a peer is different from a friend.
- Your Knight-Hennessy Scholars recommendations are the only reference letters that we will review before we provide input to your graduate program.
- Once your graduate program shares its feedback with the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, we also will review your departmental recommendation letters. As such, your recommendation choices for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program should make a compelling independent case, and also complement the references of your graduate program.
- It's fine to ask the same person to provide recommendations for your graduate program and for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, but ensure that he/she submits distinctive letters of reference.
We ask your recommenders to assess some character and leadership traits in the reference letters, and to address the following:
Please explain how you know and interact with the applicant.
- How have the applicant's actions and insights benefited others? Please provide specific examples.
- What is the most important instance of constructive feedback that you have given the applicant? How did the applicant respond?
- How has the applicant changed most since you have known each other?
- Is there anything else that we should know about the applicant?