All of your college applications are in! Now it's time to relax, right?!

Girl in bathing suit and shorts, sits back on lounge chair, puts sunglasses on, crosses arms behind her head and smiles


Jimmy Fallon, sitting at his talk show desk, raising his hands up, saying,

There's one more thing on your to-do list.

Sending a thank you note to the teacher who wrote you a recommendation for college is a step you can't forget!

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Thank you notes? Really?

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To be polite

Thank you notes show that you understand that your teacher did something nice for you and you appreciate that.

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To recognize hard work

Writing a recommendation letter takes time. Imagine how many other students asked the same teacher for a letter. That's a lot of extra time!

Flaticon Icon To strengthen connections

Maintaining strong personal and professional relationships gets more important as you get older. Showing appreciation to your teacher will help keep that connection healthy.

How do I write a thank you note?

You have 2 options:

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  • Email is easy to reply to.

  • Sending an email can be efficient and quick. You don't need a pen, paper or a stamp.

  • Email is sometimes looked at as less personal than a handwritten note.

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  • A handwritten note can be saved as a keepsake.

  • Taking the time to write a note by hand makes it more personal.

  • Handwritten notes are less common these days, it's more special.

  • You'll need a pen, paper, and maybe a stamp.

Whether you choose email or handwritten, your teacher will appreciate the effort you took to thank her!

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Have you chosen to email your thank you letter or handwrite it?

Here's a checklist to get you ready for both options.

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For an Email:

  • Make sure you have the correct email address.

  • Check the spelling of names.

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For a Handwritten letter:

  • Get some of your parent's fancy notepaper and a pen (a regular piece of blank paper will work, too).

  • Check the spelling of names.


Miguel's teacher wrote him a recommendation letter almost 2 weeks ago. He wants to write her a thank you note and knows he's waited a long time already. What's the best option for Miguel?

What do I say in a thank you note?

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Start with a greeting

  • Use correct title: Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Mx.

  • Spell name correctly


Dear Ms. Smith,

Dog with human hands typing on laptop with agenda book and glasses next to him.

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First paragraph — explain why you're writing

  • include the names of the schools you applied to and why the letter was helpful


Thank you so much for the letter of recommendation you wrote for my college applications. With your support, I have applied to North College, South University, and East College. Your letter was an important part of my application, and I am grateful to you for taking the time to write it.

Red balloons with blue strings spelling out - THANK YOU with a blue star balloon next to the

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Optionalhighlight your teacher's impact or give an update

  • Why did you choose this teacher to write your letter?

  • What will you remember about their class?

  • Have you heard back from any of the colleges?

  • Example:

    No matter what college I end up attending, I know I will be well prepared for English classes thanks to your influence. Your class challenged me to grow and learn how to read and respond to literature in a more mature way.

    Baby holding small book up closely to her face, moving head back and forth as if she's reading.

  • Example:

Thanks in part to your letter, I was accepted into all 3 of the colleges I applied to and have decided to go to North College next year.

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  • End your letter with a formal closing and your name.



Kind Regards,



Seth Meyers sitting at talk show desk, wearing suit and tie, waving, saying,


Joey is writing a thank you letter to his teacher, Jim Daniels. Which is the best choice of opening for Joey's letter?

Take Action

Are you ready to cross off the last thing on your college application checklist by thanking the teacher who wrote a letter of recommendation for you?

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