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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Recommendation letter troubles

Park seniors face challenges trying to obtain recommendation letters
Serena Bovee
Photo illustration

With college applications looming over this first semester, Park seniors had to follow a process of requesting recommendation letters through the website Naviance. Without proper directions, many seniors found this difficult to complete, putting pressure on themselves and their teachers to submit letters in time.

According to senior Addison Chenvert, trying to navigate Naviance was confusing, and the lack of communication on how to do so only added to the difficulty. 

“[The school] never really explained how to do it,” Chenvert said. “We’ve talked about it a lot, but they never actually explained it.”

Park senior Javier Schimming said the school didn’t prepare him nor any of the seniors he knows for requesting these letters. 

“It could have been more well explained by teachers,” Schimming said. “I had to help a couple of my friends do it, and it was really because of the college counselor [I have] that knew how to do it.”

According to chemistry teacher Alexander Polk, requesting recommendation letters is quite simple.

“It’s really not that hard of a process,” Polk said. “If you go on to Naviance, and click on ‘recommendations’, it’s actually pretty easy. You just have to try.”

Chenvert said students simply needed more clarification earlier on in the year to avoid all the chaos at the end of Oct. 

“I wanted to get them in like August,” Chenvert said. “I didn’t know that I needed it through Naviance. I got the information [eventually] through my teachers, but I didn’t know it before.” 

Schimming said requesting was pretty streamline when you know what you’re doing, but the lack of direction hinders the process. He said the only way he knew how to do so was because of an outside counselor who aided him through his requests. 

“I thought it was fairly straightforward,” Schimming said. “But I also have a college counselor who helped me with it.”

According to Polk, the problem lies with the students, as many of these rec letter issues arose because many requested from their teachers only days before the Early Action deadline of Nov. 1. 

“If students are aware they’re going to need a recommendation from somebody, don’t wait until a week before, don’t wait until a month before,” Polk said. “Upcoming seniors, don’t wait until you are in October or mid October to ask about recommendations that are going to be due Nov. 1. If you wait too long, [teachers] are going to say no.”

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About the Contributors
Rylie Unangst
Rylie Unangst, Echo Staffer
Hey!!!! My name is Rylie and I am a senior this year. I am one of the captains of the girl's lacrosse team and I manage the football team. Outside of that, I really enjoy watching movies, eating sushi, and hanging out with friends! I’m really looking forward to this year!
Serena Bovee
Serena Bovee, Copy Editor
Greetings all, my name is Serena and this will be my third year working on this publication. I am one of the condemned copy editors working on the Echo this year. In my free time, I partake in listening to some of my revered music. From the works of the late Dimitri Shostakovich all the way to the new and looming artist Chris Christodoulou. When I’m not doing that I am probably sifting through the petrichor while promenading through Saint Louis Park.

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