happygirl

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Hi guys,

Here's my situation: I graduated in 2004. I applied for the 2005 entering class and got waitlisted at two schools. I am now reapplying again this year, but I'm having a problem with getting an updated LOR. I have gotten three completely new LORs (work experiences, volunteer), one updated one from a research prof (who was also a sci prof), and an updated one from a nonscience prof (I was a nonscience major). I still need one more letter to satisfy most school's requirement of two letters from science professors. My school still has an old letter from my physics professor and I've tried emailing and calling him for an update, but he hasn't responded! The letter is dated in 2004, so it's going to be really old, but I don't know that I have any other choice but to use his letter.

What should I do? Will schools be a little more lenient knowing that I've been out of school for four years? Or is this really going to hurt my chances?

Thanks for the advice!
 

Weoh

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Given your circumstances, there are 3 things that I would suggest you do:

First, keep doing what you're doing and continue trying to contact that old professor. Maybe call his department directly to find out if he's even in town, what his hours are, etc.

Second, if there are any other former science profs of yours, contact them and see if they'd be willing to write a letter (that is, if there are any others and if you think that they'd write you great LoRs).

Third (and you should probably go ahead with this one to hedge against the other 2 scenarios not working out by the time you're ready to start filling out secondaries), call the admissions departments of the schools that you're interested in applying to. Some of the schools will extend certain courtesies to non-trads who have been out of school for several years, and allow you to use employer/supervisor LORs--but you have to ask so that it is on the record. At this point, you've been out for 4 years, so they'd very likely to be willing to work with you on that single letter that's missing.

Good luck!
 
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happygirl

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Given your circumstances, there are 3 things that I would suggest you do:

First, keep doing what you're doing and continue trying to contact that old professor. Maybe call his department directly to find out if he's even in town, what his hours are, etc.

Second, if there are any other former science profs of yours, contact them and see if they'd be willing to write a letter (that is, if there are any others and if you think that they'd write you great LoRs).

Third (and you should probably go ahead with this one to hedge against the other 2 scenarios not working out by the time you're ready to start filling out secondaries), call the admissions departments of the schools that you're interested in applying to. Some of the schools will extend certain courtesies to non-trads who have been out of school for several years, and allow you to use employer/supervisor LORs--but you have to ask so that it is on the record. At this point, you've been out for 4 years, so they'd very likely to be willing to work with you on that single letter that's missing.

Good luck!
Hi, thanks for the advice! Yeah, I've tried calling his department and he's no longer around since it's summer (and when I called when school was still in session, I could never get a hold of him) and was told he might not be back until school starts up again!

I think I'm going to have to go with your third suggestion since I really don't know other science professors that well anymore - I don't know how strong of a letter they could write after 4 years w/o an old letter work off of. I've already emailed two schools asking about my situation, but haven't heard responses yet, so maybe calling is best and will force them to answer my question =) I'm just afraid their answer will be, knowing that I'm a reapplicant, to just reuse the old science LOR since they know that I have one.
 

RxnMan

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Hi guys,

Here's my situation: I graduated in 2004. I applied for the 2005 entering class and got waitlisted at two schools. I am now reapplying again this year, but I'm having a problem with getting an updated LOR. I have gotten three completely new LORs (work experiences, volunteer), one updated one from a research prof (who was also a sci prof), and an updated one from a nonscience prof (I was a nonscience major). I still need one more letter to satisfy most school's requirement of two letters from science professors. My school still has an old letter from my physics professor and I've tried emailing and calling him for an update, but he hasn't responded! The letter is dated in 2004, so it's going to be really old, but I don't know that I have any other choice but to use his letter.

What should I do? Will schools be a little more lenient knowing that I've been out of school for four years? Or is this really going to hurt my chances?

Thanks for the advice!
Nobody cares if you've been out of school for 4 years. Yeah, they might ask what you've been doing, but this is more of the drink mixer question, along with what kind of car do you drive. Almost any answer you give, including "being a garbageman," can be spun into something positive: "It was a job that let me volunteer for clinical experience on the weekends and helped me finance this year's applications."

And an old letter doesn't matter. The other letters will stand as udates themselves. Just get your apps in ASAP.
 

Weoh

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Dec 17, 2007
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In between here and there.
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I'm just afraid their answer will be, knowing that I'm a reapplicant, to just reuse the old science LOR since they know that I have one.
If the adcoms for certain schools are okay with the old letter, I'd say use it-- just be sure to check with each school. Some might prefer a newer letter from someone else.

Again, good luck!