How important are letters of recommendation at US universities?

According to a recent NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) survey, 80% of the colleges reported that letters of recommendation are important, while only 20% of the colleges said that they have no major role.

Universities in the US are rethinking their entire admission and financial aid process while ensuring fairness.

While many think that letters of recommendation are a key deciding factor for admissions, others believe that they might just be unfair to disadvantaged students.

Public school counselors and educators already have a lot on their plate to write exceptional letters of recommendation for their students. Reinforcing the importance given to admission decisions on the basis of letters of recommendation puts disadvantaged students at a further disadvantage. 

While a minority of 4-year universities in the US like UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) have completely removed the requirement for letters of recommendation, others are slowly evolving their own admission policies to ensure equity.