Applying without a committee letter/

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Ultimakey

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I'm planning to apply this cycle, but would be doing so with a letter packet from my school. My school offers a committee letter, but I was unable to apply for one due to the deadlines. During the application cycle for the committee letter, I was abroad, and then got injured and put out of commission for a few months. Needless to say, it's too late to apply for one for this cycle. My school's premed committee suggested that I apply next cycle, and would write me a committee letter if I do, but also generously offered a last second letter packet (way after the deadline) if I'm set on applying this cycle. They said that if a school were to ask them why I didn't receive a committee letter, they'd explain that I was abroad (w/o internet access) and then got injured, so it was just not possible, but they'd have written me one. All this to say that the letter packet is only going to contain a cover letter, but not a glowing character review. Any suggestions or recommendations?

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How are you set on letters / do you need one?

FWIW, as the person who runs our committee letter process I've never had a school reach out about a student to ask why they didn't have a committee letter. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but....

I commonly sit down with students to talk about whether a committee letter would benefit them / help them and why, and in my anecdotal experience it is very much not necessary.
 
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Hi, thank you both for the replies. To answer you, Eigen, I have two science, one research, one volunteering, and one physician's letter. I also have ~8 course evaluations. This is enough for my school's letter packet. I might be able to pull out more non-science letters and volunteering letters if needed, but I figured this would be enough, especially considering I'm 3 years out of school at this point. Please give me any other advice or insight if you can! All is very appreciated :)
 
Hi, thank you both for the replies. To answer you, Eigen, I have two science, one research, one volunteering, and one physician's letter. I also have ~8 course evaluations. This is enough for my school's letter packet. I might be able to pull out more non-science letters and volunteering letters if needed, but I figured this would be enough, especially considering I'm 3 years out of school at this point. Please give me any other advice or insight if you can! All is very appreciated :)
I don't see there being a downside, but I also don't see a "packet" as having any real upside for you. All it does is pull all of the letters together and they get sent as one thing.

A downside of a "packet" is that you can't assign the letters individually for school: that can be more to manage, but it also lets you customize your letters better.

Being 3 years out of school, I wouldn't think a committee letter would be that important, and it seems like you have robust letters already, assuming you also have a non-science letter for schools that require it.
 
I don't see there being a downside, but I also don't see a "packet" as having any real upside for you. All it does is pull all of the letters together and they get sent as one thing.

A downside of a "packet" is that you can't assign the letters individually for school: that can be more to manage, but it also lets you customize your letters better.

Being 3 years out of school, I wouldn't think a committee letter would be that important, and it seems like you have robust letters already, assuming you also have a non-science letter for schools that require it.
Yeah, I think the letter packet just comes with a cover letter, but doesn't really do me too many favours in and of itself. With that said, is there any other way for my premed committee to support me without the committee letter? Do medical schools occasionally reach out to premed committees for more information on applicants and their applications?

Regarding non-science letters, I was told most schools removed that requirement. In the case where I can't get one because I've been out of school for too long, do you think there'd be an alternative?
 
Yeah, I think the letter packet just comes with a cover letter, but doesn't really do me too many favours in and of itself.
I'd ask rather than assume, and especially whether the cover letter is customized for you or not. I've been places where a letter packet is just a packet of letters, and if there is a cover letter it's a generic brag about the school rather than the student: not all that helpful.
With that said, is there any other way for my premed committee to support me without the committee letter?
This depends on your committee. Granted, we're a small school but each student going through the process gets several 1:1 meetings with a faculty advisor who's their primary contact through the process, and we also do mock interviews, review materials, etc. But we do this for all health professions, not just medicine, so it isn't tied to the committee letter.
Do medical schools occasionally reach out to premed committees for more information on applicants and their applications?
I'm not saying it doesn't ever happen, but I've never experienced this and have never heard of it happening.
Regarding non-science letters, I was told most schools removed that requirement.
This is heavily school dependent: you need to go through each of the schools you want to apply to and see what their letter requirements are. I have students applying to schools this year that require a non-science letter, and I'm actually seeing that requirement be more common not less.

You've only been out 3 years, you should still be able to easily ask a professor you took for a non-science class to write for you.
 
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