Anonymous asked The Pioneer Research Program , 11/11/2020 ( 1 comment )

Do the students need to request a letter of recommendation? Or, do the professors automatically write a letter of evaluation for the students? And, then, are these two options (rec and evaluation) the same or distinct?

The Pioneer Research Program replied:

Universities respect and value the evaluation from Pioneer because Pioneer guarantees the authenticity of how the research was conducted and the process by which the student’s work was evaluated, as well as the caliber of the applicant through its rigorous admissions. So the core value of the Pioneer records is the student’s evaluation with the Pioneer grade. The strictness of Pioneer grading and evaluation is ensured by Pioneer’s grading standards and oversight conducted by Pioneer and Oberlin College. This is why Pioneer evaluation is not treated as a typical recommendation. Instead, the Pioneer evaluation is accorded similar respect as a school counselor’s letter because of Pioneer’s standards and oversight recognized by the colleges.

The Pioneer evaluation is very comprehensive and includes a letter grade, a chart that the professor uses to compare the students to other students they have taught at their college and at Pioneer, and space to evaluate the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Professors provide valuable detail about the student’s personality and capabilities that go beyond the grade and allow the university admission offers to understand the student more comprehensively (essentially, the same content that would appear in a letter of recommendation). Students do have the freedom to ask their professor to write an additional letter of recommendation, but most students do not choose to do this, as a letter of recommendation would not provide any additional information and would be without the rigor and context provided by the Pioneer evaluation. 

Students do not need to request an evaluation; each student who completes the program will automatically receive one. Students can review their evaluation before deciding which universities to send it to. If you have additional or more specific questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to

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