How many letters of rec does each college want? And do I waive my FERPA rights or not?
This REALLY varies, so you are going to need to check each college, ok kiddo? And check them freshly each year because the colleges like to sit around on Friday and Saturday nights and dream up little things like this that they can change, just for the who of it, and then they giggle. But it’s not funny.
So, check the websites, you poor soul, BEFORE you ask a single other poor soul to write a letter for you, just IN CASE none of YOUR colleges want any letters at all.
The vanilla answer to your question, though, kiddo, is usually 2-3. Usually most colleges want two letters from junior year core teachers and also one from your poor, overworked, underpaid, drastically under-appreciated school counselor who loves nothing more than piping hot morning coffee with two pumps of mocha and no whip, ok? 😉
So check and then ask and then submit the letters. And then go back and thank those rec writers because that is a long, tough job in the Fall. I recall it with shudders and wistful memories of hundreds of now-thriving adult people I used to joke with and push to achieve ever greater academic feats. Meliora! (acc.)
Ad astra, kid!
PS–I forgot to answer part 2 of your question! Yes, waive your FERPA rights. We counselors always counsel kids to waive the rights because it shows the rec writers (and the colleges or employers) that you have faith in the person writing the letter. It also shows that you are not a litigious person (someone who wants to be able to sue the rec writer or the college). So yes, waive your FERPA rights and choose strong rec writers in the first place. Let mw know if you have any other questions! Susanna