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The Ivy Coach Daily

August 13, 2015

Berkeley Letters of Recommendation

Cal seems to be all over the map with respect to wanting letters of recommendation (photo credit: Tristan Harward).

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about how the University of California, Berkeley was choosing to defy a long tradition among the University of California schools by encouraging applicants to submit letters of recommendation. No other University of California school accepts letters of recommendation. Their argument? They argue that they want each student to have an equal shot. We’re not sure how requiring letters of recommendation undermine this philosophy but to each their own!

While the University of California, Berkeley previously stated that students will have the option of submitting two letters of recommendation (they could submit one or two, with one from a teacher), they’ve kind of hedged their bets, perhaps because they’ve encountered resistance from the other UC schools. We’re not sure why. But here’s the update: Letters of recommendation should not be submitted along with applications. That’s right. They should not be submitted. If the university should ask for additional materials from an applicant, that applicant may then — and only then — submit up to two letters of recommendation.

This is a bizarre twist for the University of California, Berkeley. Cal, get your act together. You’re confusing students, school, counselors, teachers. You seem to be confusing yourselves. To our readers, do you think this change of course was due to pressure from other UC schools? Why do you think the university pretty much hedged its bets? And do you think they’ll actually request letters of recommendation from a significant percentage of its applicants? Only time will tell…

Heck, maybe Cal has reversed its policy while we were in the course of writing this post! It’s entirely possible.

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