TIGIBedHead

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I am getting incredibly frustrated with one professor, who said he'd have my letter in by last Friday. Not only did he not submit the letter, but he is going on vacation next week and won't be able to complete it until the last week of July. To top it all off, he asked for a copy of my transcript.. and yet he's had my materials since December. If he wanted my transcript, he could have asked months ago. I've tried being patient, polite, accomodating. I don't know what else I can do. Does anyone else want to share their LOR frustrations?
 

hindu

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same boat, same frustration. have a beer.
 

BozoSparky

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professors can be very annoying when it comes to letters.

hey, at least you are doing this now, not in september! good luck!
 

LizzyM

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Biostats.moore said:
what's the best way to ask a professor to hurry up and write the letter?
Be grateful. Thank the professor and say how grateful you are for this help and how happy you are to have this kind of support. Express your nervousness with the whole process and your hopefulness that your application is complete by August 1 so that you start getting interview invitations in September.

The poor professor will feel so guilty about putting it off that the letter will be in the mail the next day.

At least we hope so!

Sometimes, adcoms will review applications and send interview invitations before the letters come in, with the understanding that the letters should arrive before interview day. This is mostly for top candidates where the school feels itself in competition with other schools to interview & make an offer before the student says "I've got three offers, I'm done!"
 

Zuerst

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LizzyM said:
Be grateful. Thank the professor and say how grateful you are for this help and how happy you are to have this kind of support. Express your nervousness with the whole process and your hopefulness that your application is complete by August 1 so that you start getting interview invitations in September.

The poor professor will feel so guilty about putting it off that the letter will be in the mail the next day.

At least we hope so!
Did exactly that through emails with a professor of mine, absolutely no response from him, at all. I even sent copies of those emails to his assistant, asking her to forward those emails to him just in case. Nothing from the assistant. :scared:
 
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TIGIBedHead

TIGIBedHead

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I've also sent several follow-up e-mails, expressing my thanks and appreciation, as well as highlighting the importance of having a complete application early in the game. When this professor contacted me again, he sounded very sorry that he hadn't completed the letter for last week as promised. And I realize he's busy and I'm only one of the points on his to-do list, and probably nowhere near the most important one.. but it's still just really frustrating.

Leahmaria, if the question was addressed to me, I also have to do a committee interview, which is why I need this professor to get his letter in asap. I also explained this to him, and it seems like he understands that this needs to be done soon. Hopefully it will be in by end of July.

Part of my concerns is if he was going to write a strong letter, he would have written it when he said he would, right? Or maybe he really is that busy and wants to put off the letter until he has every possible bit of information.. maybe he's trying to write as good of a letter as possible and that's why he's taking all this time.. It could swing either way, and this is making me nervous, in addition to the delay in my app.
 

leahmaria

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TIGIBedHead said:
I've also sent several follow-up e-mails, expressing my thanks and appreciation, as well as highlighting the importance of having a complete application early in the game. When this professor contacted me again, he sounded very sorry that he hadn't completed the letter for last week as promised. And I realize he's busy and I'm only one of the points on his to-do list, and probably nowhere near the most important one.. but it's still just really frustrating.

Leahmaria, if the question was addressed to me, I also have to do a committee interview, which is why I need this professor to get his letter in asap. I also explained this to him, and it seems like he understands that this needs to be done soon. Hopefully it will be in by end of July.

Part of my concerns is if he was going to write a strong letter, he would have written it when he said he would, right? Or maybe he really is that busy and wants to put off the letter until he has every possible bit of information.. maybe he's trying to write as good of a letter as possible and that's why he's taking all this time.. It could swing either way, and this is making me nervous, in addition to the delay in my app.
My guess is that professors who write a lot of letters probably say a lot of the good, same things. Your professors are rooting for you, they'll want to write a good letter. I doubt he's putting it off because he doesn't have good things to say...

The reason I asked about the committee is because they often include more than three letters--my packet of recommendation letters has several, and going without one for the first few schools probably wouldn't have been a big deal.

good luck getting them all together and with your committee interview!
 

sara3426

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i'm kind of in the same situation.. i sent out a reminder email to all my profs last week, and now i'm 2/3, but i got no reply to that email from one of my profs and that letter still isn't in. is it too early to send out another email, and if so, what do i say THIS time?
 

jackieMD2007

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Be polite yet persistent. There is nothing else you can do. If it really isn't working you can try to find a 4th LOR writer, and see if that person can turn it around for you sooner.

I think sometimes the profs are testing us to see how persistent we are. :)
 
M

Mr. McDuck

TIGIBedHead said:
Part of my concerns is if he was going to write a strong letter, he would have written it when he said he would, right? Or maybe he really is that busy and wants to put off the letter until he has every possible bit of information.. maybe he's trying to write as good of a letter as possible and that's why he's taking all this time.. It could swing either way, and this is making me nervous, in addition to the delay in my app.
Not necessarily. I got very good letters from everyone I asked, and all of them took forever to write them. They just get busy and forget. It seems like you're bothering them, but you have to keep reminding them or they'll put it off until it's too late.