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Did anyone get into a good school with only a so-so LOR?

nishi

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    I am really worried about my LORs. I need 3 science faculty letters and one of the three whom I was counting on told me today he didn't know me well enough to write one. My GPA is really high and I have a wide range of extracirruclars (except research which I am also worried about). I feel if schools needed more outside letters I would be fine becuse I have done so many internships and things in the community. Was anyone in this position with LORs but got into a really good school?
     

    erin682

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      I got kind of screwed by my advisor who was writing the letter from my school's pre-med commitee. He apparently put like zero effort into it even though he knew me. I never saw it of course but I had schools tell me that given my scores I should have had more interviews and earlier interviews so I know that there was something wrong with that part of my application. Anyway long story short I got waitlisted by Emory and Washington U post interview. I think I would have had a decent shot at Emory b/c they requested 2 additional LORs, it was just too late b/c my advisor had gotten around to sending my LOR 2 months after I'd asked for it so my interview was really late. I didn't end up pursuing either Emory or Washington because I decided to go to my state school and pay 1/3 of the tuition. Its a good school too.

      So short answer, yes, you can get in to a good school with a mediocre or in my case $hitty LOR, it just might take a little more effort to make up for it. Also if you do get waitlisted at a school you really want to go to you can send letters of intent along with more LOR's. That seems to make a big difference at a lot of schools. Anyway lots of luck. Hope your process goes better than mine did. :)
       
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      NRAI2001

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        erin682 said:
        I got kind of screwed by my advisor who was writing the letter from my school's pre-med commitee. He apparently put like zero effort into it even though he knew me. I never saw it of course but I had schools tell me that given my scores I should have had more interviews and earlier interviews so I know that there was something wrong with that part of my application. Anyway long story short I got waitlisted by Emory and Washington U post interview. I think I would have had a decent shot at Emory b/c they requested 2 additional LORs, it was just too late b/c my advisor had gotten around to sending my LOR 2 months after I'd asked for it so my interview was really late. I didn't end up pursuing either Emory or Washington because I decided to go to my state school and pay 1/3 of the tuition. Its a good school too.

        So short answer, yes, you can get in to a good school with a mediocre or in my case $hitty LOR, it just might take a little more effort to make up for it. Also if you do get waitlisted at a school you really want to go to you can send letters of intent along with more LOR's. That seems to make a big difference at a lot of schools. Anyway lots of luck. Hope your process goes better than mine did. :)

        Do you think good LORs could make up for below avg GPA and MCATs?
         

        Rapid Decomposition

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          NRAI2001 said:
          Do you think good LORs could make up for below avg GPA and MCATs?

          They might, but I wouldn't bank all your money on it. They would certainly help, but I think LORs are really just to verify via a few other people that you are a good candidate. A really bad LOR, on the other hand, could *really* hurt you, but I don't think most professors in good conscience would write anybody a bad letter.

          I had several good letters of rec, but one of my science letters was from a professor who barely knew me (I came to his office like twice), and he told me that he wasn't going to put much in the letter other than that I got an A in his class and I liked chemistry. But since I was a non science major I didn't know any professors better, so I went with it. I did have strong numbers. Anyway, I'm fortunate enough to go to Hopkins now, so I can't say that hurt me in the process - and I'd be surprised if I got rejected or waitlisted somewhere solely because of that one letter. But you'd probably have to make up for a lukewarm letter somewhere else in your app.
           
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