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LOR questions! :)

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aquafreshlovin

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I am starting to meet with Professors to gather LOR for upcoming cycle. I have few questions so please help me out!

1) Is it true that there is a "LOR sheet" provided by AADSAS to be filled out by the Professors? One of my Professors has mentioned that he has completed a sheet for the student when writing a LOR for dental schools. I have never heard such thing...

2) I plan on getting LOR from:
  • 1 QSCI Professor (Biological Calculus), he is also a dean of QSCI.
  • 1 Biology TA. I was going to get a letter from the Professor but she is currently in Africa so won't work out. Is it bad to have a LOR from a TA?
  • 1 Genetics Professor
  • 1 Dentist
  • 1 Personal Reference from a friend. He is a social worker.
Does this sound okay? Or should I have more Professor letters and leave out the letter from the friend?

3) Is it "better" for me to send out the letter directly to AADSAS by mail? I have taken courses at multiple colleges...so do I mail the transcripts myself also? So confusing...
 

SMCohen

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1. Yes, there is a LOR matching form that you will have to send with the letters of rec; however, I just filled out the form myself and attached it to the sealed envelopes and mailed it all in one larger envelope. The matching form requires nothing more than the contact information of the prof.

2. AADSAS only accepts 4 letters, so unless you plan on making many copies and sending them individually to each school, you need to cut out one of them. Your best bet is to cut out the personal reference because most schools require 1 letter from a dentist you shadowed, and 3 letters from profs. Some schools have specific requirements for letters from profs, e.g., one letter from chemistry professor, another from a biology professor, while other schools require letters from 2 science profs and 1 from an arts prof. With regards to a letter of rec from a TA, my understanding is that it is acceptable, but a prof has to sign-off on this letter. Maybe you can get the current year's prof to sign-off on it?

3. Unless you are applying to a small number of schools, it is best to send your letters of rec to AADSAS as opposed to each school individually. They will forward copies of your letters when they mail out your application. And yes, to the second part of that question - most schools require you to send transcripts to them individually plus you have to send them to AADSAS to have your GPA verified.
 

aquafreshlovin

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Thanks for the replies! I have looked at the other posts regarding LOR and some of them were kinda confusing. :scared:

SMCohen - let me get this clear. So after all 3 of the Professors hand me LOR, I can just print out 1 LOR matching form? Just want to make sure since I thought each Professor needs to insert the form INTO the sealed envelope along with LOR. I am guessing you had no problem doing your way.

Lastly - would it be faster if I send out the transcripts myself to AADSAS? Or should I ask each schools to send it out directly themselves?

Thanks in advance! :)
 

SMCohen

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No, 1 matching form for each letter of rec - this includes the letter from your dentist. I didn't have a problem attaching the letter to the outside of the sealed envelope - I don't see why there would be a problem. The only information that is required on the matching form is the contact info of the person, which you can likely find on your school's faculty page.

Unless you plan to express mail your transcripts, I don't know if there would be a difference between you mailing them or the schools mailing them. My school sent them out a couple of days after I requested them, so I had no problem. In addition, you have to print matching forms for each transcript so either way, you have to make a trip to your school's transcript office.
 

aquafreshlovin

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Thanks for the feedback.

I have few more questions.
1) How long should Personal Statement be? Single spaced or double spaced?

2) Does the matching form need to be sealed inside the envelope along with the transcript? I was planning on asking one of the schools I attended (which is located far away from me) to mail me the transcript. But if the matching form needs to be inside the envelope, I have to wait until May15th.

I am in the process of collecting all of my LOR and Transcripts so when application date begins, I can just send it in right away. So no signatures needed on the matching forms for LOR and Transcripts...correct?

Sorry if I sound redundant. I just want to make sure of everything. Thank you so much! :love:
 

SanOnofre2002

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Does your school have a Pre-health professions office? If not, check with Biology Dept student affairs. They usually help with this kind of stuff. I had my letter writers send their letter directly to this office and then I sent the office 1 AADSAS matching form for my file of letters. Worked fine.
Sending the transcripts yourself probably isn't any faster. I just submitted a request to my school when I completed my application. If you do save a day or two doing it yourself, that won't make any difference. The long part is waiting for AADSAS to verify the transcript.
It looks like all your letters are Bio professors. You should replace one with a Chem professor. Some schools actually require letters from specific academic departments and Chemistry is commonly one of them. Check the websites for all the schools you want, the requirements will be listed there. I remember one school wanted a Physics letter?!?!
 

NuckingFutz

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Does your school have a Pre-health professions office? If not, check with Biology Dept student affairs. They usually help with this kind of stuff. I had my letter writers send their letter directly to this office and then I sent the office 1 AADSAS matching form for my file of letters. Worked fine.
Sending the transcripts yourself probably isn't any faster. I just submitted a request to my school when I completed my application. If you do save a day or two doing it yourself, that won't make any difference. The long part is waiting for AADSAS to verify the transcript.
It looks like all your letters are Bio professors. You should replace one with a Chem professor. Some schools actually require letters from specific academic departments and Chemistry is commonly one of them. Check the websites for all the schools you want, the requirements will be listed there. I remember one school wanted a Physics letter?!?!

Speaking of a school's Pre-health professions office... mine said that they wouldn't actually complete and send all of my LOR (including theirs) until the end of the summer :eek::eek:

I'm kinda worried about that since I want to get my application complete and in ASAP. I planned on taking my DAT at the end of July so I really don't want any more delays if I can avoid them. They also said that they would send the letters themselves and not through AADSAS. :confused:

Now I don't know what to think/say since I need the LOR but at the same time I don't want to tell them to have it ready early and sent.

(Don't mean to hijack)
 

SanOnofre2002

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They also said that they would send the letters themselves and not through AADSAS. :confused:

Now I don't know what to think/say since I need the LOR but at the same time I don't want to tell them to have it ready early and sent.
There's a handful of schools that request LORs be sent through AADSAS only. Check the ones you want to see what they say. I talked to the one's I applied to that wanted it that way, and they were flexible and accepted it through my school's service. Except UCSF. That was a problem now that I remember. If you're applying to UCSF you will have to convince your schools to send your file to AADSAS. Usually the threat of branding your university as one that can't get it's graduates into a fine schools like UCSF b/c of asnine policies and red-tape is enough. In fact you should hammer them on the late date they say they won't send yours out until. Timing is so important, I'm suprised they don't recognize that. You would think they want to get all the grads they can into professional schools. I'd go be a thorn in their side until they give in to you. Go over the office's head to your department dean or further if necessary.
 

aquafreshlovin

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I don't get it - why can't you just send out LOR & transcripts yourself to AADSAS?
 

SanOnofre2002

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I don't get it - why can't you just send out LOR & transcripts yourself to AADSAS?
The big advantage to using your schools letter service is the length of the time they hold your LORs. AADSAS holds it only for the current cycle but my school holds them for 5 years. If for whatever reason you didn't get in the first try, using AADSAS you would have to go back to your letter writers and ask them to please make up another letter. That also allowed me to have the writers send their letters in far earlier than I could have with AADSAS. That way you can ask for a letter as soon as you finish a class and not a year or two later.
 

DanNuch

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alright i thought i had this down but now im confused too...

so if i am using an online letter of recommendation service (interfolio.com), i just get them to send it to AADSAS then i later fill out the "matching form".

Same goes for transcripts, just have my school send the transcripts directly to AADSAS then later send the matching form on my own,

i know this sounds redundant but this is my first time through the cycle and i just wanna know whats going on now before i start panicking in June...
 

SanOnofre2002

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alright i thought i had this down but now im confused too...

so if i am using an online letter of recommendation service (interfolio.com), i just get them to send it to AADSAS then i later fill out the "matching form".

Same goes for transcripts, just have my school send the transcripts directly to AADSAS then later send the matching form on my own,

i know this sounds redundant but this is my first time through the cycle and i just wanna know whats going on now before i start panicking in June...
No, the matching form goes with the material being sent to AADSAS. It's just a piece of paper that makes it easier for them to determine whose application the LORs go with. I don't remember if there was a form to send along with the trabscripts, but if there is you'll just take it to your school and give it to them when you request transcripts be sent out.
 

ummjoey

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No, the matching form goes with the material being sent to AADSAS. It's just a piece of paper that makes it easier for them to determine whose application the LORs go with. I don't remember if there was a form to send along with the trabscripts, but if there is you'll just take it to your school and give it to them when you request transcripts be sent out.

i am pretty sure there is also a matching form for the transcripts.

@DanNuch you will need to tell your school to attach the matching forms with the transcripts.

edit: same with the LORs
 

aquafreshlovin

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Hysteria24,

But SMCohen said he/she had no problem sending out LOR himself/herself to AADSAS in a big envelope.

So in conclusion, I CANNOT send out all the LORs & Transcripts MYSELF to AADSAS?

The heck...some people are saying I can and some are saying I cannot. Please clear this up.

Lastly, how long should Personal Statement (the one uploaded onto AADSAS) be? Single spaced? Double spaced?
 

ummjoey

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Hysteria24,

But SMCohen said he/she had no problem sending out LOR himself/herself to AADSAS in a big envelope.

So in conclusion, I CANNOT send out all the LORs & Transcripts MYSELF to AADSAS?

The heck...some people are saying I can and some are saying I cannot. Please clear this up.

Lastly, how long should Personal Statement (the one uploaded onto AADSAS) be? Single spaced? Double spaced?

you can send in your LORs yourself. however, you shouldnt because when you waive your rights to read the letter, it will have a stronger impact on the admissions committee. you can send the LORs yourself, but on the matching forms you cant check the box where you waive your rights to read it.

i am not exactly sure how you send it in yourself since i didnt do it. there was a career center at my school that handled LORs.

i am pretty sure you cannot send in the transcripts because those need to be official.

if i remember correctly the personal statement is 5000 characters.
 

SMCohen

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you can send the LORs yourself, but on the matching forms you cant check the box where you waive your rights to read it.

I think there has been a misunderstanding with my previous post - maybe I didn't make it clear enough. I said that I attached the matching form to the outside of the sealed envelope. For those of you who have never asked for a LOR from a prof, the convention is for them to seal the letter in an envelope and sign over the seal. This way, you can still 'waive your right' to read the letter. Most people don't do this, but I didn't have a problem with it last year when I sent my letters to AADSAS.

Transcripts are a different story. Not only do you have to send a copy to AADSAS (with a matching form), but you also have to send them to schools individually. I do not know if AADSAS will accept a transcript sent from a location other than your school's transcript office, but some schools state very clearly (on their websites) that the transcript must come from the school and not from a secondary location.
 
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