The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act gives students the right to access their educational records, including college recommendations. Many students ask whether or not they should waive their rights to see their teacher and counselor recommendations. The answer is “YES.” Only by waiving your rights to review your recommendations will your recommenders feel 100% free to write the recommendations they want to write, and admissions officers know that. A college will look suspiciously at a student who does not trust his recommenders enough to waive his right to see what they write. Most educators are not inherently evil or malicious. If a teacher doesn’t feel she can write a glowing recommendation, she will probably let you know. So, give your recommenders plenty of time, plenty of helpful information and pay careful attention to their reaction when you ask them. If they hesitate or complain that they may be too stretched to give yours the time it deserves, take the hint. Graciously thank them for their consideration and for their honesty and find someone else to write your letters.