RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
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Dental Student
Hello Y'all

I go to a large state school (MD) and we do have a pre-health committee that can compose a committee letter for students, however, they usually finished around mid July to mid August, and knowing that the pre health population at my school is probably 90% premed, its pretty much a foregone conclusion I will at the earliest receive my committee letter at around August. I am just not sure if it is worth it to hold it out until that long to complete my app.

With individual ERs, I can finish my app early in June, but my pre-health advisors is strongly against me foregoing the committee letter process, she thinks its a huge red flag for DS to see that I avoided using the committee process, and my state school has explicitly stated on their website that the committee letter if offered is preferred.

Honestly I am not sure how I should proceed with this LOR situation, if possible, I would sent my individual LORs during June and add the committee letter at a later date, but that seems too good to be true (probably is not possible). I would love to attend my state DS, but I don't want the long wait time of the committee process to jeopardize my chances @ other DS if I could apply as early as possible. My GPA/ DAT combo isn't bad (3.6/24) but its not out-of the world fantastic and certainly not enough to shoe me in for an interview after August. To those that have been through this dilemma before, would you recommend me following through with the committee letter or just take matters into my own hands.

Right now all of my LOR are in VeCollect because my school stores it for their committee, is it better for me to get Interfolio instead so I can sent LORs by myself if I choose to go that route?
 
May 17, 2008
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Dental Student
I'm assuming that you're applying next cycle. You said that the committee finishes around mid-July to mid-August but does that mean letters are only completed during that timeframe or is it possible for the letter to be done sooner? If you were to go through the process to get the letter now I'd be incredibly surprised if it wasn't actually ready for an entire year.
 

Life of Pablo

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Feb 18, 2016
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Just to give you a reference, I have a friend that goes to a top 30 university, and she decided to forego the committee letter. She still has interviews, and I feel like if you can explain the situation (your school wouldn't be able to write the letter until August), then I think that's very understandable.
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
98
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Dental Student
I'm assuming that you're applying next cycle. You said that the committee finishes around mid-July to mid-August but does that mean letters are only completed during that timeframe or is it possible for the letter to be done sooner? If you were to go through the process to get the letter now I'd be incredibly surprised if it wasn't actually ready for an entire year.
Unfortunately, they won't submit any letter after mid July, and those time slots are probably reserved for the competetive pre-med applicants. I am wondering if the committee letter can be added as part of a supplmentary material once the application is finished, sorta like updating schools with new grades or ECs in that sort of sense.
 
May 17, 2008
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That's a terribly run committee letter system, sorry you have to deal with that. I'm pretty sure letters can be sent in afterwards, so you could update with a committee letter if/when it comes in and just use the individual letters until then. I've heard of applicants skipping the committee letter system completely that were still very successful so don't be too worried - I think your explanation (significant application delay if you were to wait) is a very valid one. Your stats are pretty solid so you will be competitive regardless.
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
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Dental Student
That's a terribly run committee letter system, sorry you have to deal with that. I'm pretty sure letters can be sent in afterwards, so you could update with a committee letter if/when it comes in and just use the individual letters until then. I've heard of applicants skipping the committee letter system completely that were still very successful so don't be too worried - I think your explanation (significant application delay if you were to wait) is a very valid one. Your stats are pretty solid so you will be competitive regardless.
That is great to hear, thank you Feralis and Pablo! I just hope the committee letter will still be attachable as many school only accept up to 4 individual letters or committee letter + 1.
 

Life of Pablo

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Feb 18, 2016
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That is great to hear, thank you Feralis and Pablo! I just hope the committee letter will still be attachable as many school only accept up to 4 individual letters or committee letter + 1.
A school will never turn down additional letters of rec. Yes, you can only send in 4 on AADSAS, but you also have the ability to email letters directly to the schools. Just call the admissions office and they'll direct you to the email to send any additional letters to.
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
98
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Dental Student
A school will never turn down additional letters of rec. Yes, you can only send in 4 on AADSAS, but you also have the ability to email letters directly to the schools. Just call the admissions office and they'll direct you to the email to send any additional letters to.
Awesome! now I'll just have somehow convince my prehealth committee of this possibility. They are really against me sending individual letters on my own haha.
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
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Dental Student
If Maryland's dental school is your first choice, then I would say use the committee letter. I was reviewed at Maryland and got an invite for the supplemental application via email without my committee letter. Some schools HIGHLY regard committee letter over individuals. My state school is like that. Also if some schools don't really care, you can always ask your individual professors to send the letters to some of the schools directly to speed up the process.
The thing about my prehealth committee is that they complete the letter around August, but it may take them 3 weeks to foward the completed letters. At that point I'm afraid is way too late in the cycle.
 

Sensibleshrike

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Aug 5, 2017
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This begs the question, how vital is a committee packet vs LoR from 2 science prof and 1 dentist?
 

Sensibleshrike

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2017
63
25
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Pre-Dental
that depends on the school. I went instate for college and so the admission committee at my state's dental school is very close with our prehealth committee advisor who writes our committee letters. The admission committee highly values what our prehealth advisor has to say about the applicant. Basically, without the prehealth advisors approval..you're basically done. (or you better have a VERY good explanation why you didn't use committee letter).
why state?
 

Sensibleshrike

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2017
63
25
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Pre-Dental
why state?
that depends on the school. I went instate for college and so the admission committee at my state's dental school is very close with our prehealth committee advisor who writes our committee letters. The admission committee highly values what our prehealth advisor has to say about the applicant. Basically, without the prehealth advisors approval..you're basically done. (or you better have a VERY good explanation why you didn't use committee letter).
which state?*
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
98
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Dental Student
What I would do is the minute your letter gets turned in, call up Maryland and other schools (or send an email). For example, I got my supplemental applications from Maryland back in July. My committee letter didn't get turned in until last week. However, the same thing happened to my in-state school. I called them up the following day after my letters were turned in. My school told me they get it and will pass my application off to the admission committee. The following day after that phone call, I got an pre-december interview at my state school.

However, I will say this. Your committee letter doesn't sound fair to put premed> predent. I don't know how heavily Maryland weighs committee letter, esp if your school has that option. And like I said, I had the same dilemma with deciding between LOR vs Committee. What I would do in your case, which is what I wish I had done is call or email the schools (that don't care about the different between committee vs LOR) you're applying to and let them know your situation. Ask to see if you can send them the individual letters. However, go through with the committee letter for schools that do care like Maryland. Esp, since Maryland will review you without it. Also, with your stats and your instate...you're most likely will hear back from Maryland with an interview the minute you tell them your committee letter is in.
Awesome! Hopefully I can mail in my committee letter separate after my app. Thank you for the advice!
 
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RemainPositive

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2017
133
98
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Dental Student
Hey guys, just a quick question, is interfolio still a good service for me to store LORs right now and send them at a later date without bothering my professors come June 1st?
 

digzthis

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Jan 18, 2016
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Pre-Dental
Hey guys, just a quick question, is interfolio still a good service for me to store LORs right now and send them at a later date without bothering my professors come June 1st?
yes do this, will make your life a lot easier not having to wait on profs
 
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