Due to the current way that the Common App requires schools to display recommendation information, we understand that our recommendation requirements may appear to be confusing or not in agreement with our website.
In addition to the required counselor recommendation, all Penn applicants are required to submit two recommendations. We also allow students to submit 1 optional supplemental letter if they desire.
One of the two required recommendations must be from a teacher. The other required recommendation can also be from a teacher, or it can be from another source, hence the instruction on the Common App that 1 teacher recommendation is required and 1 is optional.
The Common App will also show that 2 “other evaluations” are allowed. One of these “other evaluations” is for students who wish to use a non-teacher as their second required recommendation. The second “other evaluation” optional letter is to allow for the additional supplementary letter.
Possible combinations could look like this as it relates to the options listed on the Common App profile page:
- 1 teacher evaluation (required) + 1 teacher evaluation (optional)
- 1 teacher evaluation (required) + 1 other evaluation (optional)
- 1 teacher evaluation (required) + 1 teacher evaluation (optional) + 1 optional other evaluation (optional)
- 1 teacher evaluation (required) + 1 other evaluation (optional) + 1 optional other evaluation (optional)
Due to the number of combinations that students are able to utilize, the recommendation requirements as listed in the Common App are to allow for all possible options to meet our requirements.