I am currently waitlisted at one of the top schools. One of the current students is willing to give a recommendation for me. I was wondering what should he write in the recommendation that will support my cause? And how long you think this recommendation should be?
Congrats on your resourcefulness in building a network at your target school. The student's letter of support should be brief, definitely no more than one page (unless this person has worked with you for years in some capacity).
It should briefly state (a) how and when this student came to know you, (b) what qualities or experiences make you an ideal addition to the school's student body, and, if possible, (c) the specific venues or forums in which the student believes you are likely to make an impact (e.g., maybe you told him that you are involved in a local Chinese community group so he states that you are likely to join the school's China Club, etc.). You want the letter to be brief but not generic: the student should back up his claims about you with concrete references that show he does know something about you and has thought about how you and the school fit.
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