Late Committee Letter

premed2292

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May 15, 2020
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My committee letter won't be ready until early to mid September. Is that too late? Should i just send the letters individually? My school is known for sending committee letters so i'm worried that it'll raise some red flags.
 

penguinsfan71

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Is it a committee letter or a letter packet? Just asking because you said you could send the letters individually, but typically a committee letter is just the one letter.

If it's a letter packet, I'd suggest sending them individually now. Early September isn't the worst, assuming the rest of your app is ready to be submitted for verification, as many schools will still send you their secondaries before the letters have been received. But still, having your secondaries completed (with letters received) in July vs September is pretty significant. Of course, this is also dependent upon which schools you're applying to and what kind of letters they prefer (some might not even accept a letter packet!).
 
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penguinsfan71

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So the individual letters are separate from the committee letter? If so, send in the individual letters now and the committee letter once it's done. If you have enough letters to meet a school's requirement, they'll review your secondary even if they don't have the committee letter yet, which you can send to them later on.
 
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gonnif

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Rule One: Take A Breath. Lets clarify for everyone.

1) Normal Speed for Committee Letters is AFTER the beginning of the Fall Term. Medical schools know this
2) This is because historically committees wanted the previous Spring term faculty input on how your did, which cant happen until after there term was over and the faculty returned from summer
3) the vast majority of medical schools require, recommend or prefer committee letters
4) this would be especially true for UG schools that are known for committee letters
5) Having your application complete by mid to end to September is still early/on-time especially in this cycle
6) you dont get into medical school because your application is complete first, you get in because your application is good
7) and without a committee letter from a known UG school, it wont be good
8) It will take anywhere from 4-16 weeks or more (1-4 months) for any action to be taken on your application.
9) CTFO: Calm, Thoughtful, Focus, Ohmmm

********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #018)************
Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, virtual interviews, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of crisis, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified and transmitted regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020 (delayed to due Corona/COVID-19), JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.

-While applications are transmitted at end of June, July 10, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.’
-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day Mid-to-Late September (due to Corona/COVID-19) is likely early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late September to Early October is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.

Getting primary in on time does matter because of all the other items that follow it. But applicants often see the beginning and not understanding how it flows from there. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
 
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Leahjoos

Full Member
Apr 23, 2020
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Is it a committee letter or a letter packet? Just asking because you said you could send the letters individually, but typically a committee letter is just the one letter.

If it's a letter packet, I'd suggest sending them individually now. Early September isn't the worst, assuming the rest of your app is ready to be submitted for verification, as many schools will still send you their secondaries before the letters have been received. But still, having your secondaries completed (with letters received) in July vs September is pretty significant. Of course, this is also dependent upon which schools you're applying to and what kind of letters they prefer (some might not even accept a letter packet!).

Can you submit your application before submitting letters, I am in the same boat but my interview for my committee letter is August 4th.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
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Can you submit your application before submitting letters, I am in the same boat but my interview for my committee letter is August 4th.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
1) You can submit AMCAS without, repeat, without letters being submitted or assigned.
2) AMCAS does not, repeat not use letters for verification or transmission
3) The AMCAS Primary Application is separate form the AMCAS letters service.
4) letters can be submitted and assign anytime (before school specific deadline)
5) letters are needed as part of the secondary application process.
 
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KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,488
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Rule One: Take A Breath. Lets clarify for everyone.

1) Normal Speed for Committee Letters is AFTER the beginning of the Fall Term. Medical schools know this
2) This is because historically committees wanted the previous Spring term faculty input on how your did, which cant happen until after there term was over and the faculty returned from summer
3) the vast majority of medical schools require, recommend or prefer committee letters
4) this would be especially true for UG schools that are known for committee letters
5) Having your application complete by mid to end to September is still early/on-time especially in this cycle
6) you dont get into medical school because your application is complete first, you get in because your application is good
7) and without a committee letter from a known UG school, it wont be good
8) It will take anywhere from 4-16 weeks or more (1-4 months) for any action to be taken on your application.
9) CTFO: Calm, Thoughtful, Focus, Ohmmm

********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #018)************
Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, virtual interviews, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of crisis, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified and transmitted regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020 (delayed to due Corona/COVID-19), JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.

-While applications are transmitted at end of June, July 10, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.’
-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day Mid-to-Late September (due to Corona/COVID-19) is likely early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late September to Early October is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.

Getting primary in on time does matter because of all the other items that follow it. But applicants often see the beginning and not understanding how it flows from there. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
Stupid question here - if your school does committee letters, and they aren't normally done until after Labor Day, and you are not complete until they are in, and Labor Day is considered "on time," how can anyone be on time if they are using a committee letter??
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
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Stupid question here - if your school does committee letters, and they aren't normally done until after Labor Day, and you are not complete until they are in, and Labor Day is considered "on time," how can anyone be on time if they are using a committee letter??


The rule of thumb for being "on-time" or "early" means that "lateness" will not impact your chances; you are early enough be screened and placed in the appropriate queue to be evaluated and reviewed by Thanksgiving, though that end date is become later as number of applications per school rises. Its like being in front of the line to sign up at a ticket window for a chance to get a seat. If you are later in line, you may not even be allowed to sign up (if that makes sense) Prior to COVID-19 it was generally considered rule of thumb that being early/on-time at highly competitive programs was Sept 1st/Labor Day and mid/late Sept for solid candidates at most other programs. With Pandemic, that will likely be pushed backed 2-4 weeks. But simply because you are past those dates, doesnt mean you have hit some hard cut off or that chances drop off precipitously. You still have to be a highly competitive or solid candidate to gain acceptance and that might mean the weight of a committee letter will be stronger than any delay.

Without getting into the weeds of how things work, all applications are screened in some fashion, usually automated primary plus quick read, and prioritize, classified, scored, etc in some way and queued for assignment to team, subcommittee, or individual reader in priority order. When the file is marked complete, it gets assigned and prioritized. Early on usually only higher priorities get evaluated and considered and then they move down priorities. If you are complete Sept 1 with a low priority but someone is complete Oct 15th with a higher priority, they will immediately move to top of queue. As you get evaluated, you again get classified, scored, prioritize for II consideration. How IIs get given out also varies by schools and within schools.

Letters are also read, evaluated, and added to your priority. In a similar way that "selectivity/prestige" of a school may add a bit to your application. so will committee letters from known powerhouses (ie Cornell. Rice), known past feeder schools, linked programs, etc. These letters will have more impact than just "unknown" individual letters. Notice I didnt say positive or negative impact. A great letter from Cornell can boost you while a bad letter will absolutely kill you.

Schools need to work on some priority scheme as: a) they get 5,000 applications and it takes a 4-16 weeks to get thru them and b) they will get more completed applications up thru their deadline. So they dont rush to hand out all interview slots. So even if you are in first, and complete before the end of August, you may not be evaluated until December. Essentially its "first come, best served." It would appear fewer interview invites or a slow pace of invites go out later in the cycle due to the weaker candidates that get looked at later.r, This isnt a timing issue as much an application strength issue

Lastly, just a comment on rolling admissions vs non-rolling. There is virtually no difference for applicants. What is important is that all interviews are rolling. These are the finite slots that matter when you are invited. Better candidates, get early invites. Not when you have the actual interview but when you get the invite. And as I get the question often then why should I submit early. If you submit early you may not get reviewed until late. But if you submit late, you certainly wont get reviewed early or at all

In sum. timing matters for application submission completeness: your chances degrade as a factor of the weakness of your application and the as the time in the cycle moves on. And a strong committee letter helps strength your application

Added: below is from UCSD and a good example of how schools look at this timing

Admissions | UC San Diego School of Medicine
We are aware that the perception of many applicants is that if you don't apply very early in the cycle, you are hurting your chances for admission. This is not true and in fact has never been true for UCSD. We do have "rolling" admissions. But, what rolling admissions means from our perspective is that we plan to make a small number of offers spread throughout the year...but it does NOT mean that we make all of our offers in October and November and reject any applicants that happen to be reviewed later.
It is very much in our interest to try to form the best possible incoming class, and thus we do not make any decisions based on how early or how late we receive or review an application. We leave plenty of room for strong applicants that apply later in the cycle.
The situation is fluid, as the need for social-distancing and other impacts of COVID-19 may extend and force additional MCAT cancellations. We are not yet able to determine how this will impact our process overall, so we ask for your patience as we don't have all the answers yet and may need to adapt our policy to fit the situation to ensure an equitable review process for all applicants.
 
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