In a New York Times blog post today, Martha C. Merrill '84, Connecticut College's dean of admission and financial aid, shares her tips to give prospective students the best chance of securing a strong teacher recommendation. "Most students want to know if the recommendations matter, if we even read them. At Connecticut College, we require two teacher recommendations, and yes, we read them," Merrill writes. Her tips include asking for recommendations early, submitting only the required number and asking for a recommendation from a teacher in a discipline you hope to further explore in college. The piece is Merrill's third in the blog's "Tip Sheet" series, which features short posts by admission officers, guidance counselors and others who can help applicants and their families better understand aspects of the admission process. Her previous posts include a January 2010 piece with advice for parents about navigating the later stages of the admission process and a June 2009 piece with advice for writing the perfect college essay.