LOR timing hurting my chances?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Tweetie_bird, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. Tweetie_bird

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    Here's my situation:

    I have 5 LORs. Only two of them are done--on from Science prof that taught me, and one from another science prof who is my PI. That means two Science faculty letters are done. I am waiting on 1 humanities, one research coordinator, and one MD that i worked with.

    I know there are a few schools that want all the letters to come together. I don't blame them, it kinda looks like a neat litle package. It's 5 dollars PER MAILING at my letter holding place. That's a lot of $$ I don't wanna spend, but if need be I might have to do it. I am noticing a lot of you guys are getitng interviews and feeling a bit concerned because I have left my file incomplete at a lot of places due to those 3 missing LORs--


    1. Do you think if I send in my two sci LORs, they will start opening my file and reviewing it?

    2. If you are suggesting I wait, how long should I wait before I ask the LOR service to send in the letters? I figure if my LORs are not done in 2 weeks, I will just sent the ones i have out and wait for others to arrive slowly.

    I don't know which way is the best to go. If I can increase my chances by paying a few extra bucks per mailing, it's fine. I am more concerned about what schools might say to having 5 lors arrive in 2 different packages. What's the general concensus?
     
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  3. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    I'm no expert, but if the school knows you will be sending in 5 letters, I don't think they will review your file until all 5 letters have arrived.
     
  4. Tweetie_bird

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    that's what I thought, Diogenes. But I'm noticing that a few people on SDN don't have all their LORs in yet they are going for an interview. I'm confused. [​IMG]
     
  5. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Some schools don't make you list your LOR writers, so maybe if they get their 2 science and 1 humanities in, but not their extra ones like employers or MDs, the school looks at their file. I dunno.
     
  6. cabruen

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    I would suggest you wait and send all five letters together as a package. That way they stay together and will put into your file together.

    Several of the schools I have talked to have said that they base your application review date on when the secondary is submitted. Not when the letters arrive. They will hold off on the review until all of your letters are in, but once they arrive, your application pops to the top of the stack because your secondary form was in early.

    Just some encouraging words.
     
  7. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I don't think any school will start reviewing your file with just 2 LOR's. I would wait until you have the minimum that most schools ask for: 3. And for the schools that want more (or if you just want to send more) maybe you could avoid the fee by having the letter writers send their letters directly to the schools instead of going through your school letter service (of course you would provide them with SASE's). Check the secondary and/or website instructions on LOR's for each school though, before sending off a packet with less than the recommended number of LOR's. I know how you're feeling. One of my letter writers took forever last year. He kept saying he'd sent it in, and the letter service kept saying it wasn't there. Finally had to have my mom, who lives in the same city with this guy, go over there and pick it up, and forward it to the letter service!:rolleyes:
     
  8. kawaiij

    kawaiij Junior Member

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    I would wait till you get all your letters in, many premed committees aren't sending out ANY letters till classes start up. I know because I'm a reapplicant and they're using the same letter from last year and they still can't send it out till sept. I also read on another thread that someone else was experiencing the same thing. You are a reapplicant right? Some schools will use your letters from last year, UW is one example. You're still ahead of most applicants so don't worry. Last year I didn't send off my AMCAS till late October and I got interviews and a waitlist. Now that is late!
     
  9. Tweetie_bird

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    i hope you didn't mean to imply that UW = University of washington. Last I checked, University of Washington doesn't have a premed committee letter. :confused:
     
  10. jalan2

    jalan2 Senior Member
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    Cabruen, you wrote:

    "Several of the schools I have talked to have said that they base your application review date on when the secondary is submitted. Not when the letters arrive. They will hold off on the review until all of your letters are in, but once they arrive, your application pops to the top of the stack because your secondary form was in early."

    May I know which schools told you this? (Because my understanding from reading websites and materials on schools is, that they won't start looking at our apps until ALL the required LORs are in.) Thanks.

    Tweetie, I have pretty decent stats and I've submitted more than 10 secondaries a month ago. The only problem is that the LORs aren't there yet, and I still haven't gotten any love (interview invitation) from any schools yet. If I were you I'd send in the bare requirement LORs first as soon as they're available. A lot of schools require only 2 sci and 1 non-sci. As soon as the humanities one is ready, you can send those in, and send the others later as they are ready. I don't think the schools mind except if they explicitly stated that they only want ONE packet only. And since the cost is also a concern, you can prioritize which ones are the most desirable schools for you and send the bare bones LOR first to them. Good luck.................
     
  11. laviddee

    laviddee Senior Member
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    my suggestion is this:

    as soon as you get your third letter-- send three.

    and then when you get the other 2 send those as additional letters. that way, they can look at your file twice for sure!!!
    and they can only look better upon you as you get more letters coming in. If they see 5 at once.. that's fine, but too much of a good thing is sometimes bad. Just like, the longer your essays are--it might work against you.. 5 letters of recs seems kinda excessive and i'd blur it all.

    so i think it's better if they see 3. then they see 2 later.
    it's a tough decision- b/c if they only see the three and make their decision quickly and 'reject', then you're screwed. But hopefully they get your process going and you get the two in before they make a decision.

    NOW-if you do decide to send the 2 later, then MAKE SURE you don't list down the names of those extra letters coming in. Otherwise they will wait for it.
    For example, michigan requested my letters, and i had only 3 of the 4 done at the time. i sent those 3 in, but also wrote down in the secondary that there'd be a fourth. Well they waited for the fourth before even reviewing. Again, i'd like them to review... then re-review once that next letter to come.
    keeps your name on their mind and their opinions can only improve with each additional letter.

    well it's a risky plot.. but better benefits.
    glad i'm not making this choice!
     
  12. cabruen

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    Maybe I didn't explain myself well. It is true that they won't review your application until ALL of the letters are present.

    However, they review applications in the order that the secondary application was returned.

    Example:

    tweetie submits secondary on Jul 31, but without letters.
    cabruen submits secondary on Aug 5, but without letters.
    eunice submits secondary on August 31, with letters.
    cabruen's letters arrive on Sep 8
    tweetie's letters arrive on Sep 10

    review board that met on Sep 2 reviewed eunice
    review board that met on Sep 12 review tweetie, then cabruen

    The schols I talked to were Tulane, Penn State, OHSU.
     
  13. Stan

    Stan Senior Member
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    Hi Tweetie Bird,

    I found a really great advice here on SDN and thought I would pass it along. Use the reference service www.referencenow.com .
    Your recommenders can fax in their letters (including a page with your signature stating that you waive your rights to access it) and you can decide when and where to send them.

    The service sends them out within 24 hrs of your request and keeps a mailing log online. It is so easy and works like a charm! AND I only had to ask them to send a letter once (except for the schools that wants their cover letter attached to the LOR). I pay them $3 to send a package of < 20 pages, and I can specify what letters will go to a particular address. If there is a crisis, the letters can be FedExed overnight ($14). The service saves me a lot of stress...

    -Stan
     
  14. blinx

    blinx Member
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    wow that seems like a great service - especially since my school doesn't have a letter service

    are you sure med skools accept that though? i mean - when the service sends the letters out, do they photocopy them? and if so, are the signatures and paper letterhead still valid?

    it really seems too good to be true!

    blinx
     
  15. Stan

    Stan Senior Member
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    Hi Blinx,

    I called a few schools before I signed up for it, and they didn't seem to have any problems receiving the letters from a document service. One medschool even specified in their secondary that they would accept such a service (can't remember which one).

    Your recommenders can upload the letter electronically, by fax or snail mail. It is then scanned and stored in your file for the lenght of time you signed up for the service (1 year = $20). After a year the letters are stored on microfiche. If I don't get in this year I can activate my file at no charge for next years cycle (helpful if I can use the old LOR). They send everything to the schools with a coverletter explaining how their service works. I sent out several packages this week, so it might take a few weeks until I see the results.

    Hope this helps.

    -Stan
     
  16. kawaiij

    kawaiij Junior Member

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    I'm sorry tweetie, I read what I wrote and realized it wasn't clear. I meant that some medical schools will use your lors from the previous year if you are a reapplicant. Last year I applied to UW and didn't get in, so when I applied again this year their application said that they would use letters sent in from previous years. Sure enough my LORs for this year haven't been sent out yet, but UW has verified that my application was entirely complete soon after I mailed in the secondary.
     
  17. famousdoc2b

    famousdoc2b Junior Member
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    Actually, it totally depends on the school. For Duke, they requested 4 LORs. Only 3 of mine arrived. I received a letter from the ad com notifying me that my file was considered complete and if the 4th letter arrived, they would just place it in my file. I couldn't get in touch with my professor who had previously agreed to write the letter. You may want to call and explain to them what's going on. My professor was in the process of relocating. However, I did email them earlier and explain to them what happened. Best of Luck!
     

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