Guide to the online recommendation process (for recommenders)

Rod Vizcarra -

A Guide to the Online Recommendation Process

Note: The online recommendation website is only supported on the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. We STRONGLY recommend using either of these browsers in order to access the website.

Special note for Mac users

If you are having difficulty viewing the preview of your online recommendation, please click here.

Logging in to your recommendation
Recommendation Homepage
Navigating the Recommendation Pages
Recommendation Inspector
Preview Form
Electronic Signature
Submit Button
Commonly Asked Questions

Logging in to your recommendation form

The online recommendation process begins when an applicant registers you as someone who will submit an online recommendation on their behalf. After registration, the system will immediately send out an email notification to the address used during the registration process. The email notice will contain your user id and password, as well as the URL of the website where you may log in to the system.




 First-time users of the Embark online recommendation system will be asked to fill out their account information when they login, on a page very similar to the one in this image. This information will not be shown to institutions as it is only used to help identify your overall account with Embark. You will only need to enter this information once.









Recommendation Homepage

After you have logged in and/or completed the initial forms, you will be presented with the online recommendation home page. This page lists all of the recommendations you have been asked to complete. To begin any recommendation, simply click on the name of the applicant.



Note: Please be sure to click on the name next to the most current version of the application.

If you cannot click on the applicant's name, then the applicant had rescinded her/his request to have you fill out an online recommendation or the deadline to submit the recommendation has past.




Navigating the Recommendation Pages

After you have clicked on the applicant's name, you can navigate to the first page of the online recommendation via the "Continue to Forms" link in the lower right of the website.


The online recommendation forms are created in strict accordance with the guidelines set forth by the institution. As such, please follow the specific instructions listed within the online recommendation to make sure that you are filling out the correct data in the necessary fields.

Some data fields will be optional and can be left blank. Other fields must be filled out before you can submit the recommendation.

  • If a required field does not apply to your situation and you wish to leave it blank, we ask that you please contact the applicant’s institution directly for guidance on how to fill out the field. Embark cannot make any changes to the online forms without direct permission from our clients.

Remember to click on the “Next” button at the bottom right of each page to advance to the next step.

Generally the online recommendation process requires you to fill out 1 or 2 questionnaires and then upload a letter of recommendation. However, please note that each institution has different recommendation policies so you may not be prompted to fill out fewer or upload items.


Recommendation Inspector 

Once you have completed the recommendation pages, please click on the “Continue to Inspector” link in the lower right corner. (This link will only appear on the LAST page of the online recommendation forms.)


The “Inspector” will check your answers and prompt you to fill out any missing information. The hint messages will be listed on the right side of the website if the specific requirements for a field are confusing.

  • Hint: One of the most common issues is that the Inspector will ask you to enter your phone number as a “Numeric” value. This means that you should remove all non-number characters from your input.  Ex: “(555)-555-5555” should be entered as “5555555555”.





Preview Form

 Once the Inspector has confirmed your data, you will be asked to “Preview” your recommendation by clicking on the “Preview Form” button before you submit.


 This preview will show you a copy of the recommendation that will be submitted to the institution for review, so please check over the content carefully before proceeding. If you cannot preview the form, please make sure that you are using either Internet Explorer or Firefox and Adobe Reader 8.0 or better to access the website.  If you are still having issues, please click here to visit our Preview forums.

Electronic Signature



 After you have reviewed your submission, click on the “Continue to Submit” link. You will then be prompted to enter your “Electronic Signature”. To enter your signature, please type your name into the space provided on the online form.

Submit Button


Upon submitting your signature, you will be shown the “Submit My Form Now” button.


Please click on this button to formally submit your recommendation.



Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Can recommendations be transferred onto another application?

    Recommendations cannot be transferred from one application to another.A recommendation must be completed for each application, including multiple applications to the same University.

  2. Are there any specific requirements for my recommendation?

    Each institution will have different forms and requirements for the online submission of the recommendation. Please check the instructions listed on your recommendation for detailed information.

  3. Can the same recommender be registered for different applications?

    Yes.Submitting a letter for one school does not affect the recommendation for another school. The same recommender may be registered to submit forms for more than one institution.

  4. Is it better to submit an online recommendation vs a paper recommendation?

    If both online and offline recommendations are accepted, neither method will affect evaluation of the application.

  5. Can my recommender submit both Online and Paper Recommendations?

    Generally, most institutions will only accept one form of submission, either the online forms or the paper forms. However, some scholarship programs will ask for both paper and online recommendation, so please check with the applicant if you are unsure of the requirements.
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