Letter of Interest...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by drumming207, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. drumming207

    drumming207 Sucka Foo
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    I am not sure when to send a letter of interest. I have applied to many schools, but my top choice is not on a rolling basis. They send out final decisions on March 15th (although I know a few people that have gotten in the 1st day of classes). So here's the question--when would be a good time to send a letter of interest? I am not sure if they ad com makes decisions as the interviewing season goes along, but I figure they probably do. Would it be best to send a letter before the spring, the first of the year, or a couple of weeks before decisions are sent out? I have one last question--who do I sent my letter of interest to besides the dean of admissions? Any help is greatly appreciated. :)

    -drumming
     
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  3. drumming207

    drumming207 Sucka Foo
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  4. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler
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    This is very frustrating. I want to hear the answer too! I've been waitlisted @ 2 schools already, and I want some advice!! Please help us out! :(
     
  5. UCLA2000

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    I'd send it out in around a month...
     
  6. drumming207

    drumming207 Sucka Foo
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    thanks ucla. is one letter to dean of admissions ok?
     
  7. drumming207

    drumming207 Sucka Foo
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  8. Rapid Decomposition

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    Wouldn't you write the letter to the entire committee? I was thinking that letters of intent are best when they become part of your application.
     
  9. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Note that a letter of interest is different from a letter of intent. A letter of intent is generally assumed to be somewhat binding.
     
  10. OneStrongBro

    OneStrongBro Senior Member
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    Binding or Not.

    Doesn't the letter of interest and letter of intent have the same format.

    I doubt a letter that you turn in will be labeled "letter or interest" or "letter of intent".

    So, how can an AdCom distinguish between the two. If it is legally binding, than they must be able to tell somehow, right?

    Any input would be appreciated.
     
  11. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member
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    letters of intent arent legally binding... perhaps morally compelling, but definately not binding.
     
  12. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    In my mind, a letter of interest is more similar to an update letter than it is to a letter of intent. I sent a letter to a school a couple weeks ago saying something to the effect of "this is what i've done since my interview, this is what i was doing before my interview that i'm still doing, i remain very interested in your school and wanted to keep you informed of my activities. thank you and i look forward to hearing from you, sweet tea" (this school is on rolling admissions). letter of interest IS NOT binding b/c you haven't made any promises to attend said school if you are accepted. you're just letting them know that you are thinking about them, you are interested, and you'd like to be accepted.

    a letter of intent says "if i am accepted, i will choose your school over all other schools" and yes, it is binding.

    hope this helps!
     
  13. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    yeah...this is probably more accurate than "binding". example: if you sent a letter of intent to george washington, was accepted, and given no financial aid (bad news, gw= $$$$$), but your state school offered you a scholarship and you had to take it for financial reasons, i can't see that gw would hold you to the letter of intent.
     
  14. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    Only on SDN have I EVER heard that any letter of interest/intent that you send is LEGALLY binding. I really don't think that is the case. I highly doubt any med school is going to send lawyers after you because you send a letter of intent and don't end up attending. A letter of intent is not a signed contract with witnesses, potential compensation for damages, etc.

    Now, would you be kind of slimy if you told a school you would go there if you get accepted and don't? Yeah probably, but it isn't the end of the world in my opinion. There's just too many factors in making your final decision that I don't think anything's really binding unless you apply early decision.
     
  15. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    I actually believe that letters of intent are technically legally binding -- although it all depends on how it is written. I wrote a letter of intent to the University of Missouri the day after I interviewed. I would not recommend this unless you are 100% certain you will attend if the school accepts you. I wrote the letter to one of the two people that interviewed me and I asked them to convey this information to the admissions committee. In this particular case, I knew that the interviewer would be at the committee meeting when my application was discussed. The letter I drafted said in part:

    "I am writing this letter to inform you and the Admissions Committee that my number one choice of medical schools is the University of Missouri School of Medicine. If MU?s medical school extends me an offer of admission, I will accept the offer without any reservation and I will withdraw all of my applications at other medical schools."

    I believe this to be legally binding. Although I am a lawyer, I am by no means an expert in contract law. Nevertheless, the above statement has all the markings of an offer to enter into a contract -- the contract being that I agree to withdraw my other applications and attend if the school agrees to offer me a spot in the class. If the school offers me a spot in the class, I would view this as an acceptance of my offer (and an offer to enter into a new agreement, but let's stay focused on the letter of intent). In my view this has all the elements of a contract under common law: 1) offer, 2) acceptance, and 3) consideration.

    Having said that the letter is legally binding, I will also say that I don't believe that any school would, as a practical matter, ever sue you for breaching your promise to attend. Because the law prevents involuntary servitude, a school could not get a court order forcing you to attend their school, and instead could only sue for monetary damages. Well, it's going to be tough for any U.S. medical school to show much in the way of damages, because they can always fill your spot. In addition, letters of intent are broken all the time in the legal community, and most of the time people do not institute any kind of legal action. But it does happen sometimes.

    The school could also report your breach to AMCAS, which could possibly create problems. In short, I recommend that no one sends a letter of intent (at least one where you say you will withdraw all other applications) unless you are 100% sure you will attend if accepted.

    Because I was accepted to Mizzou last week, I just sent out 13 letters to medical schools withdrawing my applications this morning. There are three other schools that I never got around to filling out secondaries for, so I don't think I need to send them letters.

    I do not feel that a letter of interest, that is saying "_____ school is one of my top choices, and I look forward to the possibility of attending in the fall, etc," would be legally binding. Again, all this probably depends on the exact wording used in the letter. Anyway, I just thought I'd give my thoughts on all of this.
     
  16. PrincessCKNY

    PrincessCKNY Crown Royal Member
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    What if you say that the school is your first choice school...is that binding?

    Also, should you send these letters to the Dean or Director of Admissions. I am pretty sure both positions exist on the board. Which is better and why?
     
  17. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    Well, I don't want to freak people out with my earlier post. Nothing is binding if you don't make any kind of promise to do anything. If you just say "_____ school is my number one choice," you haven't promised to do anything -- so I don't think any kind of argument can be made that you will be legally bound. As I said above, it all depends on your EXACT words. There is a difference between "______ school is my number one choice and I currently intend to attend if accepted" and "______ school is my number one choice and I will attend if accepted and I will withdraw all of my other applications."

    I hate to say all of this though, because I don't think people should be trying to create crafty letters that allow them to make false promises. The bottomline is: don't say it if you don't mean it.
    I intentionally drafted my letter to be binding, and I informed the interviewer that I believed the letter to be binding. My thought was, either you mean it or you don't, and I mean it so why not make it clear.
     
  18. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    My wife has just urged me to inform all of you that what I have said should not be construed as legal advice. I can't give a legal opinion on any of these matters without knowing the facts of the particular case and the exact wording of all communications between you and any particular school.

    Lawyers must always throw in the disclaimers!!
    ;)
     
  19. drumming207

    drumming207 Sucka Foo
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    Good question-- how many letters? Just one sent to "The Admissions Board" or can you send a letter (the same one) to each person on the admissions board? I know some schools have 65+ people on the adcom, but the school I am writing to only has about 15. I know sending one to the Dean of Admissions is a good idea.
    ---Any thoughts about the other people on the adcom?
    Thanks :D
     
  20. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    Always listen to your wife! :D :D :D
     

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