College Glossary: R

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Recommendation Letter – most college applications either require or request several letters of recommendation from each applicant — and even if one you are applying to does not, it is still a smart idea to send them. Typically, students ask their school counselor and one or two teachers to write them. If you have worked part-time while in high school, another good source is a current or former boss. The key to getting strong letters endorsing your application is to ask adults who know your work and your potential. Remember to give as much lead-time as possible so that the writers have enough time to write a strong letter.

Regular Admissions – the typical admissions process for college-bound students who do not have a clear favorite choice. With this method you send in your completed application about midway through your senior year of high school (typically in January or February, but earlier is always better, and you should check each college for deadlines), and each college notifies you of their decision later in the Spring (often early April). When you apply through the regular admission channels you have no obligation to attend any of the schools to which you have applied. Compare to Early Action and Early Decision.

Rolling Admissions – an admissions policy in which the college you apply to accepts applications throughout the year, reviewing applications as they arrive, and sending decision letters as soon as they are made. More traditional admissions policies have an application deadline in early winter (typically January or February), after which all applications are reviewed and students are notified of decisions in late spring (between March and April).

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) – a program that can help college students pay for their education. In return for scholarship money, students agree to serve in the military. Junior ROTC students are not required to serve.