chemdoctor

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Hi everyone. Just what the title says. My college has a committee but I graduated a year ago (May 2020) and will be applying this upcoming cycle. Wondering if I still need one because my school's office has been a mess due to COVID.

I honestly think my individual LORs are significantly stronger... i was wondering if I could skip out on the committee letter bc im nontrad ...

My professors offered to send them directly to AMCAS
 
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Check with each school you are applying to. All of them should say somewhere on their website what kinds of LOR's are required, and if you can't find it you can call or email them. Don't just assume you can send the letters individually and jeopardize your application being delayed for processing because you didn't submit the right kinds of LOR.
 
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I would be careful with this, my state school prefers committee letters and so have some others. Like the other user said check with each school. I would also be sure to email/call the advising office and see what their deadlines/processes are like.
 
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chemdoctor

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Check with each school you are applying to. All of them should say somewhere on their website what kinds of LOR's are required, and if you can't find it you can call or email them. Don't just assume you can send the letters individually and jeopardize your application being delayed for processing because you didn't submit the right kinds of LOR.

Oh man. Many say premed committee letter preferred :/
 
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Hi everyone. Just what the title says. My college has a committee but I graduated a year ago (May 2020) and will be applying this upcoming cycle. Wondering if I still need one because my school's office has been a mess due to COVID.

I honestly think my individual LORs are significantly stronger... i was wondering if I could skip out on the committee letter bc im nontrad ...

My professors offered to send them directly to AMCAS
If your school offers a committee letter and you don't get one, you may need to provide a valid reason why you didn't get one. Saying your school's office has been a mess is not going to be a valid reason
 
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Banco

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Get the committee letter - just better to be safe. Plus they also attach the individual letters anyway no?
 
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chemdoctor

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If your school offers a committee letter and you don't get one, you may need to provide a valid reason why you didn't get one. Saying your school's office has been a mess is not going to be a valid reason

Sigh unfortunately you're right. What if they refuse one to me?
 

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I think so. I just think my individual LORs would be much, much stronger

Yeah but the individual letters will still be available to adcoms to read in the vast majority of cases - the committee letter is sort of a composite summary and they attach the individual letters to it (if this concerns you, just email and ask them about the process). Having the committee letter just adds legitimacy to your app because most schools expect it and most applicants from your school will have it. You won't lose the strength of the individual letters or anything.

You can go ahead and apply without one too; many students do and they get into medical school. But it would just be less of a headache to have one.
 
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jhmmd

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Sigh unfortunately you're right. What if they refuse one to me?
This is kind of unheard of but just play your cards right, you know? If it seems like your school REALLY doesn't want to give you a committee letter, then maybe only apply to schools that don't require a committee letter. Nothing sinks your application like a shitty or mediocre LOR.

Good luck
 
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Sigh unfortunately you're right. What if they refuse one to me?
I'm not a fan of the committee letter either, I don't see the point of it. But like others have said, better to be safe than sorry. Why do you think they would refuse you? Because you graduated a year ago?
 

chemdoctor

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I'm not a fan of the committee letter either, I don't see the point of it. But like others have said, better to be safe than sorry. Why do you think they would refuse you? Because you graduated a year ago?

Yes because I graduated a year ago. Also, have some *less than stellar* grades in my transcript... I mean my GPA is fine for DO schools but it's just annoying.
 

chemdoctor

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Yeah but the individual letters will still be available to adcoms to read in the vast majority of cases - the committee letter is sort of a composite summary and they attach the individual letters to it (if this concerns you, just email and ask them about the process). Having the committee letter just adds legitimacy to your app because most schools expect it and most applicants from your school will have it. You won't lose the strength of the individual letters or anything.

You can go ahead and apply without one too; many students do and they get into medical school. But it would just be less of a headache to have one.

Yeah you're right... I'll try to get one then. If I can. Great. If not, oh well *shrug*
 
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Yeah you're right... I'll try to get one then. If I can. Great. If not, oh well *shrug*
This^^^^^. I'm pretty sure you'll get one. Schools like them because, either implicitly or explicitly, they put you in context with everyone else from your school, and that makes things a little easier for adcoms. If for some reason they won't give you one (schools that screen do so in order to manipulate their stats), I would apply to schools that "prefer" them anyway. Having already graduated is not usually a reason to be screened out. MCAT and GPA are.
 
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If they know you are definitely applying, and your LOR are strong, it will be in their best interest to write you a decent letter. Doesn't look good for the college to have their students rejected from medical schools.
 
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KnightDoc

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If they know you are definitely applying, and your LOR are strong, it will be in their best interest to write you a decent letter. Doesn't look good for the college to have their students rejected from medical schools.
Actually ... schools that screen don't go by LORs. They go by GPA and MCAT, and, believe it or not, there are schools that do this, and for the very reason you suggest. Because it doesn't look good to have their students rejected from med schools, some schools try to control for this by discouraging you from applying if your stats don't meet an arbitrary threshold.

LORs have nothing to do with the analysis (they make the determination without ever looking at your LORs), and they do it, not because you don't always have a shot (you do!), but because, on average, they know applicants from their school with stats below their threshold have a low acceptance rate, and they are trying to manage their reported numbers.

Ultimately, they can't stop you from applying, but, if they don't want you to apply, they can and do deny you a committee letter, even though it will hurt you at certain schools. Their objective, though, isn't to hurt you, even though it certainly does. It's to try to keep you from applying, in order to prevent what they think will be a likely fail out of their stats. From their perspective, they're not hurting you because you weren't going to be successful anyway, and they're helping themselves to the extent they can make some people improve their application before applying, or steer them away from applying altogether. Nice, right???
 
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Actually ... schools that screen don't go by LORs. They go by GPA and MCAT, and, believe it or not, there are schools that do this, and for the very reason you suggest. Because it doesn't look good to have their students rejected from med schools, some schools try to control for this by discouraging you from applying if your stats don't meet an arbitrary threshold.

LORs have nothing to do with the analysis (they make the determination without ever looking at your LORs), and they do it, not because you don't always have a shot (you do!), but because, on average, they know applicants from their school with stats below their threshold have a low acceptance rate, and they are trying to manage their reported numbers.

Ultimately, they can't stop you from applying, but, if they don't want you to apply, they can and do deny you a committee letter, even though it will hurt you at certain schools. Their objective, though, isn't to hurt you, even though it certainly does. It's to try to keep you from applying, in order to prevent what they think will be a likely fail out of their stats. From their perspective, they're not hurting you because you weren't going to be successful anyway, and they're helping themselves to the extent they can make some people improve their application before applying, or steer them away from applying altogether. Nice, right???
It is their job to help students apply with the best possible application. It’s a win-win if the applicant is accepted, so it’s fair if they discourage students from applying before they’re ready. In turn, the applicant should lean on the committee for help putting together the best application possible.
 
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chemdoctor

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I wish schools would do away w the committee letter. Oh well. Guess I'll have to get one now
 

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It is their job to help students apply with the best possible application. It’s a win-win if the applicant is accepted, so it’s fair if they discourage students from applying before they’re ready. In turn, the applicant should lean on the committee for help putting together the best application possible.
I guess, but my impression is that their motives are less than altruistic. I feel this way because, in my limited survey of UGs performed during my research when deciding which UG to attend, I found that the higher the rank of the school, the less likely it was to restrict who can receive a committee letter. I attributed this entirely to the fact that they generally have great med school admission stats, and are consequently not interested in managing or manipulating them.

I totally get where you, adcoms, and other med school administrators are coming from, but, as a tuition paying UG student, I think pre-health advising should stick to advising, and then allow me, the consumer, to make an informed decision, without making the path more difficult for me by denying me something med schools expect/prefer/require. After all, their judgments are far from infallible, and if someone wants to take a shot they should be allowed to do so without interference. It's not win-win if someone who would have been accepted with a committee letter either doesn't apply or is rejected in the absence of one.
 
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chemdoctor

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Haven't seen you in awhile, chemmie, how are you doing?

Goro! I'm doing great! Graduated recently, finished up my thesis project, and got a job in clinical research! Currently prepping for my mcat and preparing for the app cycle! Took a break from SDN for about a year or so. How have you been?
 
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chemdoctor

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I guess, but my impression is that their motives are less than altruistic. I feel this way because, in my limited survey of UGs performed during my research when deciding which UG to attend, I found that the higher the rank of the school, the less likely it was to restrict who can receive a committee letter. I attributed this entirely to the fact that they generally have great med school admission stats, and are consequently not interested in managing or manipulating them.

I totally get where you, adcoms, and other med school administrators are coming from, but, as a tuition paying UG student, I think pre-health advising should stick to advising, and then allow me, the consumer, to make an informed decision, without making the path more difficult for me by denying me something med schools expect/prefer/require. After all, their judgments are far from infallible, and if someone wants to take a shot they should be allowed to do so without interference. It's not win-win if someone who would have been accepted with a committee letter either doesn't apply or is rejected in the absence of one.

Agree w everything you said here. Advisors can be ruthless; and some schools have a huge cutoff. My schools is a 3.0 and a 500 mcat but thats still ridiculous considering masters, post bacs, smp: etc.
 
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KnightDoc

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Agree w everything you said here. Advisors can be ruthless; and some schools have a huge cutoff. My schools is a 3.0 and a 500 mcat but thats still ridiculous considering masters, post bacs, smp: etc.
You didn't specifically ask, and, as you know, I'm just a premed like you, so take my advice with the obligatory grain of salt.

Since you are a non-trad, you probably have more leeway than a trad when it comes to this. A big reason adcoms love, love, love committee letters is because they are used to compared you to other applicants from your school, and they are probably used as a screen to decide who to interview from your school, if anyone. If you are afraid such a comparison will not work to your advantage, just skip it and have all your LORs sent to Interfolio and submit them to AMCAS from there.

Again, I'm no expert, but, if it were me, I honestly wouldn't care what adcoms "prefer" if it didn't portray me in the best possible light. If your LORs are strong, let them and the rest of your application speak for you without the editorializing from your committee, if you fear it will be neutral at best. Before I did this, though, I'd meet with the person in charge of the advising office and ask for an honest assessment regarding whether the committee letter would help or hurt my application., and go from there. JMHO, YMMV, Past Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Results!!!
 
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chemdoctor

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You didn't specifically ask, and, as you know, I'm just a premed like you, so take my advice with the obligatory grain of salt.

Since you are a non-trad, you probably have more leeway than a trad when it comes to this. Since a big reason adcoms love, love, love committee letters is because they are used to compared you to other applicants from your school. If you are afraid such a comparison will not work to your advantage, just skip it and have all your LORs sent to Interfolio and submit them to AMCAS from there.

Again, I'm no expert, but, if it were me, I honestly wouldn't care what adcoms "prefer" if it didn't portray me in the best possible light. If your LORs are strong, let them and the rest of your application speak for you without the editorializing from your committee, if you fear it will be neutral at best. Before I did this, though, I'd meet with the person in charge of the advising office and ask for an honest assessment regarding whether the committee letter would help or hurt my application., and go from there. JMHO, YMMV, Past Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Results!!!

But then what would be my reason for not having a committee letter? I appreciate your response and you've given me a lot to think about.

I appreciate what you're saying. Also, Im nontrad but I graduated last May... So just nontrad for a year.

I guess I'll see how it goes; but maybe I'll get a decent one. If not, then I'll submit individually. Many of the schools Im looking at, through MSAR, say committee letter "accepted" instead of preferred or mandated.
 

KnightDoc

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But then what would be my reason for not having a committee letter? I appreciate your response and you've given me a lot to think about.

I appreciate what you're saying. Also, Im nontrad but I graduated last May... So just nontrad for a year.

I guess I'll see how it goes; but maybe I'll get a decent one. If not, then I'll submit individually. Many of the schools Im looking at, through MSAR, say committee letter "accepted" instead of preferred or mandated.
Why do you need a reason? You have graduated, you moved on with your life, and you are out of the loop. If it's "required" and you don't have it, it could certainly be a problem, but, if the letter isn't going to help you, you already have a problem. At most schools, though, whether they are preferred or required, people on SDN have reported success without them.

Seriously, though, I'd ask for an appointment with the person in charge of pre-med advising and ask for an honest assessment. You might not realize how good your letter might be, or how whatever stratification your committee performs will impact you. Hopefully, they'll be honest with you. If you go back to the general advice @Goro and @gonnif love to repeat over and over and over, we all start out rejected and schools are just looking for reasons to knock out 80%+ of us in order to make their jobs more manageable. I am absolutely not motivated to help them at all in that pursuit. :)

If a committee letter is going to put you in the bottom half of applicants from your school (or, maybe, even outside the top 25%), I don't see how it would help, unless you have some powerful hook that would cause a school to read the committee letter and still want to meet you, and I'd just as soon take my chances without it. Keep in mind, I doubt you'll ever get to see the actual letter (unless you don't sign the waiver, which creates a whole other set of problems), so the closest you'll come to knowing whether or not it is decent will be if your advisor is willing to share how they think yours will shake out based on what they know about you.
 
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Why do you need a reason? You have graduated, you moved on with your life, and you are out of the loop. If it's "required" and you don't have it, it could certainly be a problem, but, if the letter isn't going to help you, you already have a problem. At most schools, though, whether they are preferred or required, people on SDN have reported success without them.

Seriously, though, I'd ask for an appointment with the person in charge of pre-med advising and ask for an honest assessment. You might not realize how good your letter might be, or how whatever stratification your committee performs will impact you. Hopefully, they'll be honest with you. If you go back to the general advice @Goro and @gonnif love to repeat over and over and over, we all start out rejected and schools are just looking for reasons to knock out 80%+ of us in order to make their jobs more manageable. I am absolutely not motivated to help them at all in that pursuit. :)

If a committee letter is going to put you in the bottom half of applicants from your school (or, maybe, even outside the top 25%), I don't see how it would help, unless you have some powerful hook that would cause a school to read the committee letter and still want to meet you, and I'd just as soon take my chances without it. Keep in mind, I doubt you'll ever get to see the actual letter (unless you don't sign the waiver, which creates a whole other set of problems), so the closest you'll come to knowing whether or not it is decent will be if your advisor is willing to share how they think yours will shake out based on what they know about you.
The only worse than no letter is s bad letter
 
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KnightDoc

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The only worse than no letter is s bad letter
EXACTLY!!!! Would you agree, given how intensely competitive the environment is now, that even a lukewarm letter is "bad" for someone without something especially attractive to an adcom, like URM, low-SES, first gen college, etc.? In other words, even though 43% ultimately find success, given that 80%+ are screened out at each school pre-II, is a letter that puts you outside the top 25% of a class (other than something like HYPSM) a "bad" letter, or is the "bad" threshold actually much lower than that?
 
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chemdoctor

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Why do you need a reason? You have graduated, you moved on with your life, and you are out of the loop. If it's "required" and you don't have it, it could certainly be a problem, but, if the letter isn't going to help you, you already have a problem. At most schools, though, whether they are preferred or required, people on SDN have reported success without them.

Seriously, though, I'd ask for an appointment with the person in charge of pre-med advising and ask for an honest assessment. You might not realize how good your letter might be, or how whatever stratification your committee performs will impact you. Hopefully, they'll be honest with you. If you go back to the general advice @Goro and @gonnif love to repeat over and over and over, we all start out rejected and schools are just looking for reasons to knock out 80%+ of us in order to make their jobs more manageable. I am absolutely not motivated to help them at all in that pursuit. :)

If a committee letter is going to put you in the bottom half of applicants from your school (or, maybe, even outside the top 25%), I don't see how it would help, unless you have some powerful hook that would cause a school to read the committee letter and still want to meet you, and I'd just as soon take my chances without it. Keep in mind, I doubt you'll ever get to see the actual letter (unless you don't sign the waiver, which creates a whole other set of problems), so the closest you'll come to knowing whether or not it is decent will be if your advisor is willing to share how they think yours will shake out based on what they know about you.

Hmm. You're right. Im gonna call, set up an appointment and get it done. Lets see. These advisors at my school are known to be a little condescending so lets see how this goes
 
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