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The Importance of the Brag Sheet

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

Every August, most high school seniors begin the process of asking their teachers for letters of recommendation. For some students, this comes easy peasy lemon squeezy, while others experience a small level of anxiety, going back and forth on who to ask and why.

In what I’ve seen, the reason for this is that a lot of students fear that their teachers and counselors don’t know them well enough to be able to fully articulate who they are and why they deserve admittance into their dream school.

I am here to tell students and parents that this is okay and completely normal! You will not be the first and certainly not the last to have this thought cross your mind, especially if you attend a medium to large sized high school.

The good news is that there’s a resource for this, which has become more and more popular throughout the years. The Brag Sheet, as mentioned in the title, is a document that students can fill out to give their recommenders stronger content about what they’d like the colleges to know.

Some high schools even require their students to complete one, so know that this is not only socially accepted, but highly recommended. You can find a generic brag sheet through the Common App website shared below, but here are 3 pointers while filling it out:

1. Don’t be shy to “brag” or talk about yourself in a positive light. Any teacher or counselor that you ask for a letter has once had to ask for one themselves. It is likely that he/she wishes a brag sheet was around when they applied to college –if it wasn’t. Trust me, they get it.  

2. Consider who you are going to ask and why. Why you chose that individual is actually one of the questions on the form. Most universities prefer (or require) letters from teachers of core subject areas, so that is something to look at and reflect on.

3. When using adjectives to describe yourself, make sure to back them up with context. Colleges want to know about you and your personal brand. They want to see that you not only have passion or passions, but that you’ve already demonstrated pursuit of them to the best of your ability.

The greatest predictor of success is what you’ve already accomplished, so use that brag sheet to sell yourself, and better yet – to sell your personal brand of what you can bring to a new school community.

If interested in a free consultation to discuss further helping your student through the college application process, fill out a contact form today!

Common App Brag Sheet Document:

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