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Supahchungus

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  1. Medical Student
You’ll be fine! A semi enthusiastic letter of recommendation is a lot better then a negative letter of recommendation(ie. we don’t recommend this applicant at all). A negative letter of rec is fatal, but a lukewarm letter won’t tank your app. Hopefully you can get some additional letters that speak more highly of you! Good luck!
 
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May 19, 2020
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From the perspective of someone on a committee writing letters, I would not consider that lukewarm.

The goal of a (good, established) committee is to get as many well-qualified students into med school as possible. From my experience, the highest ranking is one that is given out sparingly, and truly indicates someone that is exceptional. And we want the schools we have relationships to know that it is an "undiluted" recommendation. At my previous institution, we would not always give our highest ranking in a given year, because we wanted it to stand out when we did.

Whether this is the case for your school or not depends on how much of a "feeder school" your program is and how established/known the committee is, but just thought the perspective might be helpful.
 
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*Please do not quote this message if you could, thank you!*

Hi, everyone. I recently interviewed with my pre-med committee and tried to be relaxed, but I think I was a bit too relaxed, because they decided to give me a rating of "recommended highly". While this sounds fine on its own, this is actually a third tier recommendation at my school, below "recommended most highly" and "recommended very highly". The school also includes the rankings in their letter, so there is no chance that schools will just see "recommended highly" and think that is top/near top recommendation. Will this hurt my chances, since it is third-tier, or will they not care, since I am still recommended above the minimum? Thanks for everyone's input.
It's not great...I notice these things and at our Adcom meetings this does .get discussed.

You can get around this by applying without the committee letter, using only individual letters.

You may have to explain why you are not using the committee letter. But lacking one is not lethal.
 
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It would be far worse to not have the committee letter than to submit a letter that is 3rd tier out of 4 or 5 tiers.

I think that's another consideration here: It's 3rd from the top, but out of how many?

If there are 3 lower tiers (Recommend, Recommend with Reservations, Do Not Recommend, from my experience) and this is 3 out of 6, that's different than 3/4 or 3/5.
 
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XyZ1000

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Thank you everyone for your input.

A bit more context: The committee letter has already been sent in, so I have no choice but to use it. Yes, there are three lower rankings, but all below my ranking seem to statistically hurt one's chances according to my school's reports. Also, I am generally applying to lower-tier schools to begin with; I'm just worried since at low-yield schools one really needs all they can get to stand out positively.
 
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