Pros & Cons of Interfolio? (rec letters for Experimental Psych PHD)

recycleruminate

10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
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Psychology Student
I am postponing my application for grad school (phd programs in experimental psych/cog neuro) for another year.

Two of my rec letter writers I currently still keep in touch with, but my third I do stay in contact with. However, he actually was the one who suggested that I pursue research and gladly agreed to write a letter for me, however, I had him as a professor while abroad, so there are clearly limited chances to keep in contact.

Anyway, since I am not applying right now, I was wondering if I should use this website Interfolio to have him write the rec letter now (while I am still relatively fresh in his mind) and store it. It sounds like a good idea -- others have suggested I ask him to write it now and save it or send it to me so I can hold on to it and send it back when its time for him to mail it to schools (complicated!).

But a digital format seems easy since he is not responsible for storing it in his personal files, and it will be easy to update if necessary, and it sounds like it takes the burden off of him to mail it out.

The interfolio website has a membership fee, so I just wanted to see if others have used it and what their thoughts, pros and cons, about it are.

Thank you!!!
 

recycleruminate

10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
32
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Psychology Student
Has anyone used Interfolio (a website for sending rec letters).

One of my rec letter writers is in another country (I had him as a prof while studying abroad). We do not keep in contact, but it was the only small class I had in college, and he was the one who suggested I pursue research and gladly agreed to write a rec letter for me, so I would like him to be one of my rec letter writers.

That said, I am not applying right now, but postponing that until next fall.

Doing it digitally seems easy in case an change needed to be made, takes away the burden off the prof. for having to hold on/save the letter or send it out (i think), and considering the time delay in between having him and when I am applying, it seems like an ideal system...

anyone used it and have pros and cons about it? there is a (reasonable) membership fee
 
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thepsychgeek

10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2008
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Psychology Student
My personal bias has always been toward having people write recs and keep them in their personal files. Especially since you'll be applying in about a year, not a long time. What my rec writers have said is that I should contact them as I plan to apply, notify them of anything new I've done, and they'll update and tailor my rec letters for the programs I'm applying to. The personal touch is very important!
 

pingouin

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Actually, Interfolio is wonderful if you don't have to have a letter tailored to each specific school. I used it for med school applications and it made life so much easier. The uploading is easy, you can elect to waive your right to see them (which at least for med school is important), you can store them for a while, and it gives multiple delivery options. So if you get stuck needing a last-minute letter, there's no concern about whether or not it will be sent in time: it'll already be at Interfolio, and they can overnight it.

Do a SDN search on it- all kinds of comments and suggestions about Interfolio in the pre-med forums.
 

apumic

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Actually, Interfolio is wonderful if you don't have to have a letter tailored to each specific school. I used it for med school applications and it made life so much easier. The uploading is easy, you can elect to waive your right to see them (which at least for med school is important), you can store them for a while, and it gives multiple delivery options. So if you get stuck needing a last-minute letter, there's no concern about whether or not it will be sent in time: it'll already be at Interfolio, and they can overnight it.

Do a SDN search on it- all kinds of comments and suggestions about Interfolio in the pre-med forums.
Problem is.... a series of non-program-specific LORs to a program in psychology (esp. one involving research) is pretty much akin to application suicide. If you want the best chance of getting in, you owe it to yourself (and your advisors & LOR writers) to get LORs that recommend you as strongly as possible to each program to which you apply -- and that means giving specific reasons they see you as a match for each specific program.
 
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