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Letter of intent

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jalby, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I feel like basketball recruiting. I'm just curious how many and what schools people have been sending letters that they intend to matriculate at? So if you went on an interview somewhere, and you sent them a letter saying you would go there and withdraw from all other schools if accepted, post which school here. Thanks
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member

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    Wow!! I don't recommend doing that! Think about financial aid offers! If you wanted to do that, why in the world not do early decision?
     
  4. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member

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    I am a little confused as well. Is this common? Is this something schools ask you to do or do students just do this voluntarily or do they do this in the hopes that the school will like the devotion and accept them sooner?
     
  5. Ibis

    Ibis Senior Member

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    Yeah, I agree, this is bizarre. It might actually hurt you, seen as a sign of desperation.....just my opinion.
     
  6. geez, a barrage of virgins and other pure bloods hit this board and tackled jalbrekt's topic. actually you guys would be surprised how many people do this type of thing. I just found out about it recently from this board. I think i'll do it myself.

    Every year schools accept many more applicants than they have a seat for. they do it because they expect these people to have had other acceptances and perhaps go somewhere else. There seems to be nothing wrong with telling a school that if accepted, they won't have to worry about you trippin. perhaps they look at the student like "this guy loves this school and will make the best out of our program...plus we have basically LOCKED his tuition since he guarantees to come." So if your stats are decent for that particular school they'd probably accept you.

    I know there's people that send out these types of letters (seen it on other threads). where yall at? teach us lil' childrens how it's done.
     
  7. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member

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    So this is not a formal part of the application process. This is an informal letter from the applicant to the school offering to enter into a similar agreement as would occur with Early Decision?
     
  8. none

    none 1K Member

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    That, as immensely odd as it sounds, appears correct, Epi.
     
  9. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    You should be very careful with letters of intent - that is, a letter saying that if you are accepted, you will attend the school and pull all your applications. It is regarded essentially as being a contract. Your letter is like an offer and it becomes a "contract" if the school accepts your offer. Thus, if you make offers and enter contracts with several schools, you will end up violating the "contracts" with some of the schools. This is where I would assume the AAMC/AMCAS would jump in and kick you out of the process. It's dishonest to do this. Only send a letter of intent to ONE school.

    Instead, you can tell each school that they are your #1 choice and you would be delighted to attend. This has no element of an offer and does not imply any sort of contract. And, it probably is a true statement because the school could end up being your #1 for a variety of reasons. It simply tells the schools how interested in them you are.

    Just something to think about....
     
  10. Triangulation

    Triangulation 1K Member

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    Jalbrekt,

    I guess we need to define our terms. Are you talking about sending a letter of intent to enroll or are you talking about telling the schools you will enroll if accepted? To me, they're very different. I did the former as an undergrad, and later decided to attend elsewhere, but it's no small thing. There are legal aspects to a letter of intent, just like in your b-ball analogy. Telling the school you will enroll if accepted is perhaps just as ethically binding, but certainly lot legally binding.

    Are there truly lots of instances of apps sending letters of intent to five schools and then spurning four of them? It seems like smart bunches of people like med schools wouldn't take much of that.
     
  11. from his wording, i'm pretty sure the topic is about sending a school a letter saying "if accepted i will attend." not a letter saying "OK, I'm there!" after you've been accepted.
    As far as what Becky was saying...letters saying you're my #1, BECAUSE they're not contractual or binding in any way, are probably not looked at when it's time to make a decision. don't you think? i mean they probably assume that you've done this to every school. BUT a letter saying, you're my number one and if accepted I would go there (after interview would be the best tiem to do this), is more binding, and probably affects their decision. if someone had decent grades and sent me a letter of commitment like this, I'd consider taking him more than if he sent me a letter saying "you're the best...you're my numero uno." commitment seems to be the key, no?
     
  12. megkudos

    megkudos Senior Member

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    This makes me a little uneasy even though I have read a lot of people talking about it on this board. Just the fact that people would consider sending more than one letter saying you are my #1 choice...don't you think the med schools have probably been burned in the past by this...and wouldn't that make them look down on you if you sent a letter like this....

    I think that I might, might consider doing it late in the summer if I was waitlisted or something when I had truly seen all my options and knew what I wanted....but isn't it still kinda early in the application process...

    And also....don't you think updating your application, calling often, ect. would show that you are truly interested in a more sincere way. I mean...it's really not that hard to wirte out a one page letter saying your my favorite than to spend time and effort to contact the school. It's like that whole you can talk to talk but can you walk the walk.....or something...I don't know maybe I'm say out in left field about this one but it's something to think about...

    Bottom line ...I wouldn't want to negatively affect my chances of getting in and I feel this might have the potential of doing just that especailly so early on in the year.....
     
  13. KDocGirl

    KDocGirl Senior Member

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    I think a person should do this only when the school IS his/her top choice school. Then, none of the comments above about being early in the process would apply. It all depends on the person. If you have a chance at your #1 school, then hold off on any action with other schools that might be detrimental to getting into your best school.
     
  14. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I sent one letter of "intent" to one school last year, and ended up getting in there. I don't know for sure that the letter worked, but I do think the interest helped.

    By the way, this is not an "official" thing that you have to do. Most successful applicants probably never even bother with this, and obviously do fine.

    I basically said that the school was my first choice for specific reasons (stating the reasons), and that if accepted, I would attend and withdraw all of my active applications/acceptances elsewhere.

    Personally I think it is unethical to send out letters like this to multiple schools. However, a friend of mine on an ad comm at a New York school said that schools get these types of letters all the time, and at least at his school, they don't necessarily pay them that much attention.

    I'm not sure how legally binding it really is -- I seriously doubt that there is anything AMCAS or another school could really do to you if you changed your mine and did not attend that school. However, immediately after receiving my acceptance at my top-choice school, some personal extenuating circumstances came up that made my decision more difficult. I still ended up going to that school, but if I hadn't written a letter of intent, I may have felt more comfortable turning them down ethically. Just something to think about.
     
  15. gmendese

    gmendese Porn Star

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    Dean O'Fantasy, M.D.
    No. 1 Medical SChool with Free Tuition
    1650 Park Avenue
    NY, NY 10003

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am an applicant to your school for the 2002 entering class. I am intrigued about many aspects of your school, including its free tuition, plush location, no interview policy, and all-expenses-paid visit to see the campus.

    These things in combination with free use of the dormitories (which would come in handy in the Upper East Side of Manhattan) and an annual stipend of $15,000 make me absolutely certain I want to attend your school.

    I am willing to withdraw all of my other applications to attend your school, if you would consider me for admission.

    Thank you very much for your time and I hope to thank you personally in the fall.

    Sincerey,
    Egor Lee There
     
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  17. Street Philosopher

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    A secondary question that this topic brings up is...

    How spectacular of an application must one have before he forgoes the game of writing letters of intent in favor of generous financial aid packages? It seems that financial aid is the school trying to convince you to join their school, while a letter of intent involves the student doing the convincing...

    Any rules of thumb on this one?
     
  18. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Wow. This got completely off track. I was asking if anybody had sent a letter saying "if accepted, I would attend your school." This is a common thing and I'm quite sure a school would look more favorably on this person than someone who they never hear from again.
    As to not doing it because of the financial aspects, of course you would factor that in before sending out a letter like that. The school I'm thinking about doing it for, I don't care how much money the other schools would offer me, I would still go there at full tution over the others. I was curious if anybody else had reached this level of commitment to a particular school.
     
  19. simpleton

    simpleton Senior Member

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    Has anyone drafted such a letter????

    I am in the same predicament and was wondering if anyone has written a solid letter.
     
  20. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member

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    The reason for my concern about this topic is because I recently was accepted at a school and had to return a form to them within two weeks telling them whether or not I accepted their offer. Of course, since it was my first offer, I sent the letter back immediately.

    Here is the responding letter:

    "Dear Epi,

    This will acknowlege receipt of your Intention to Matriculate at XYZ School of Medicine in August 2002 unless releases from this understanding by the School.

    We look forward with pleasure to your joining our class next fall ..."

    The first sentence talking about having to be released from this understanding is what scares me and made me think the maybe I had sent back a 'Letter of Intent' (like what this thread is discussing) and given them the wrong impression, etc.

    I am pretty sure after all the other posts that this is NOT what I did.

    Thanks.
     
  21. gmendese

    gmendese Porn Star

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    Wow, tough crowd. I was only kidding, guys.
     
  22. Triangulation

    Triangulation 1K Member

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  23. UCLA2000

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    I'd be careful telling several schools that they were your top choice, and that if accepted you would DEFINATELY attend. Med schools do talk to each other, and when they find out that you've been telling EVERYONE that they're your number one choice, then you're bound to run into trouble.

    As far as letter of intent to matriculate once accepted. You have until May 15th to make a final decision. Be careful holding multiple acceptances after May 15th because other schools will deny you based upon it.
     
  24. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member

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    What I sent this med school was their acceptance letter form filled out (initiated by the school). Clearly this is different than what this thread started out discussing (initiated by the applicant). We all know you can hold more than one acceptance with the medical schools blessing until the middle of May.

    Their wording is a little frightening though.
     
  25. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    Epi - what you did is fine and is not, for some reason, seen in the same light. Not sure why. I sent ONE letter of intent last year, to UCSF, once I was told I was on the top half of their waitlist. I had already signed an INTENT TO REGISTER paper with another school. When I got into UCSF, they told me I had to withdraw all my apps immediately and decline my acceptance from the other school. When I called the other schools where I was waitlisted to withdraw, they KNEW where I was holding an acceptance. So, the schools do talk (and it was after May 15).

    As for the letter of intent to several schools issue, I brought up the "contract" issue as an example. I see letters of intent - when initiated by the applicant for purposes of garnering admission - as similar to an EDP application; as a result, there are implications if you say you will go to more than one school if accepted. I remember reading something in the Kaplan guide to admissions (not sure of the exact title) where it said that you have to be very careful with these types of letters because the committees do talk to each other and a school can "call" you on it and try to force you to attend. I believe AMCAS can get involved in this (Lilycat had questioned this), but am not sure. In short, it's not a wise idea.

    As for the saying every school is your #1, I initially had ethical issues with this as well, but I was told that the schools usually expect you to say this to them. And, you should keep in mind that for many applicants, the school they get into IS their #1 choice (only option) because no one knows where they will have luck or be rejected (i.e., your options change throughout the process -- if you only had one top choice and were rejected, then your top choice will change. This can happen many times throughout the process, so if you truly like a school and would like to go there, then I think it's ok to tell the adcom their your #1).

    Anyway, just my thoughts. Good luck to all!
     
  26. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member

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    So it seems by general consensus that ad comms do share info re: letters of intent/admissions post May 15th. Do you think they also know if one indicates a preference for the school in a secondary?

    For each of those blasted questions, "What is it that attracts you to XXX school?" or as an e.g. GW's: "Many of you will receive acceptances to several schools, please indicate what factors will be important in deciding whether or not to accept a spot at GW." I pretty much wrote the same thing for each school, and told them that if accepted, I would attend. Do you think that constitutes a letter of intent? Do you think that the schools share this with one another?
     
  27. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    Hi locitamd,

    I think you are fine! :) I do not think they share that info, but who knows. I did the same as you with saying why I wanted to attend each school - a boilerplate letter/answer with some variation for the individual characteristics of the school. I think the schools talk more when there is a controversy (like a debacle with LOI's) or once they are trying to get you to attend (either from an acceptance letter or taking you off a waitlist). But, I don't think they share with each other if you say they are your top choice or not. Anyway, I think you're fine. Good luck!
     
  28. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member

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    bump...

    could anyone who's sent in a letter of interest/letter of intent and actually got in to that particular school post that letter? this topic is pretty common but there never seems to be a definite answer of the approach that people took to writing the letters. please post successful letters (minus personal info). thanks.
     
  29. katem

    katem Member

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    i just posted on the letter of interest thread, but i'll restate some of what i said in case folks aren't reading both.

    basically, i have tried to be as honest as possible throughout the process. obviously in secondaries and on thank you notes i highlight what most impressed me about the school, but i never indicate that i would definitely attend if accepted.

    after attending several interviews, however, i have come to the conclusion that wash u is my current, and likely final top choice. i sent them a letter stating just that, and explaining why. just to cover my bases, i did say something along the lines of "although i'm still planning to visit a few additional schools, i would be very surprised if i preferred these to wash u." again, the truth - there's a lot that can still happen this cycle, but i suspect wash u will remain my top choice.

    i also added a paragraph with an update of publications, although this information will probably go to a number of the schools i applied to if i don't get good news from wash u.
     
  30. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    What about this situation... you send a "letter of intent" saying that X school is your top choice. But then X rejects you (doesn't even waitlist you). Are you then allowed to write another letter of intent to your second choice? saying that this school is now your top choice? THis hasn't happened to me... I'm just curious how the "rules" would work in this case.
     
  31. Street Philosopher

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    yes that seems perfectly fine to me.
     

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