You will need to request these letters from your counselor and also your teachers. Read the tips to ensure you choose the right individuals, give them plenty of time, and, most importantly, thank them for their time and effort.
When Should I ask?
Make sure you give your recommendation writers at least three weeks before letters are due (at their destination) to write and send. Many teachers like to have the summer to write recommendations, so if you know that you will be applying to a school that requires recommendations, and especially if you are applying under early action or early decision plans, you may want to ask teachers before the end of your junior year.
Whom Should I ask?
Colleges often request letters of recommendation from an academic teacher (sometimes a specific disipline) and/or your counselor. It is best to ask a teacher whom you have had for class for at least a full semester, and who taught you during 11th or 12th grade. Colleges want current perspectives from someone who knows you well. It's even better if you get a recommendation from a teacher who has also been involved with you outside the classroom, but unless a college specifically requests it, don't use a coach or someone who cannot speak to your academic achievements and potential.
Talk to your Counselor & Teachers
Share your resume with your teacher and counselor. Make sure it features your accomplishments and let them in on your future plans. The best letters include specific examples and stories rather than vague praise. Be sure to utilize all resources on this webpage in order to get the best recommendation letter possible.
Make sure you proofread the letter once you get it back from your teacher or counselor. Make sure your achievements mentioned are listed accurately and the letter looks the way you want it to. If it does not, politely ask for a few revisions. Again, this is why you give your recommendation writers 3 weeks or more so that there is time for issues like this.
Teachers and counselors are very busy individuals. Thank them for their time in a personal note or card. It is very important to follow up with them and let them know where you have decided to attend college.