Reusing old essays and recs

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by MilkmanAl, May 10, 2008.

  1. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    It looks like I might be applying again this cycle, and I'm wondering if I can get away with saving some of my old materials from last cycle. I've spoken with several admissions departments, and my rec letters and PS are excellent, according to them. I plan on revising my PS a little bit, but I'd like to keep almost all of it, if possible. I'll probably get a few new recs, but I have one that I'd very much like to use again. Help?
     
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  3. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian

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    I think you can certainly save some of the old material, including that one rec that you would like to keep. Like you said, I think it's a good idea to get some new recs to document growth from the last application cycle, and make some changes to the PS as well. However, keeping old secondaries I think should be fine. Whatever things you end up doing differently between now and when you apply next, I would find a place to document them somewhere - most probably the PS - but it might also be beneficial to bring it up in secondaries, if appopriate.
     
  4. LikeClockWork

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    Do schools keep your recs on file if you re-apply? I've already graduated, and while I'm sure I could get a rec from my current employer, it would be pretty hard to get more LORs from professors from my UG since it's been over a year since I even had them in class. Can you just send one or two extra letters to add the the ones you've previously given them?
     
  5. Pedsbro

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    Most schools say they don't keep or look at old application materials, so you would need to re-send your LORs, transcripts, and any other materials you previously sent the first time you applied.
     
  6. RoadRunner17

    RoadRunner17 Fleet of feet
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    That's quite interesting... I would imagine the schools would just reopen my old file for the new information coming in. But I imagine they don't really have the time to be fishing through the old stuff..
     
  7. Pedsbro

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    Yeah you would think it would make it easier on both them and us. But several schools, in their FAQ sections, say that re-apps must submit their LORs and transcripts all over again. Now...for all you conspiracy theorists out there, I suppose it's possible they do in fact keep the old stuff and do look to see if there were any changes to the LORs/PS/answers to essays on the secondary, etc...but I have not heard of that and like roadrunner said, they can use that time for other things.
     
  8. gman33

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    As a reapplicant you should be trying to improve on every part of your previous application. Look at it this way, if everything was so good you probably would have already been accepted.

    OP - It looks like your GPA was your main problem. Have you done anything to improve this? If you haven't and you are just submitting the same application, why do you think you will get in this time?

    I'd do a SMP or some postbacc work before applying again.
    :luck:
     
  9. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Workin' on it! I'm not going to worry about applying again until I figure out what I'm doing next semester. I've applied to several SMP's, and worst-case scenario is that I take a few science classes at UMKC and bump my BCPM over 3.0. Hopefully Arkansas comes through for me and makes all this contingency planning pointless.
     
  10. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    I am in a similar situtation... I really have nothing to improve upon. I have a very high GPA at a good school and a decent MCAT.

    I thought my rec letters were strong but they are confidential so how the heck do I really know? I really have no idea who would necessarily write a better letter... should I just reuse?

    sorry for the hijack but I don't want to start another thread...
     
  11. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I just outright asked the admissions departments how my rec letters were. One school even volunteered the information.

    I'm going to have all the same writers, but all but one of them - a professor who left my school and is now VERY hard to get in touch with - will be writing new letters. I'm also adding a letter from my biochem/biochem lab professor.
     
  12. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    If you don't mind my asking, why would you have them write a knew one and what kinds of things did the adcoms say about the letters (good, bad? specifics about specific letters etc., (again if you don't mind :) ) ).
     
  13. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Well, I had classes with two of the professors I got letters from after they wrote for me. I've also kept in touch via email and visited them roughly a month ago*. I'm now one of the most senior techs at my pharmacy, and I imagine an updated letter from my boss will reflect that fact. A lot changes in a year, and I'm hoping the fact that I've maintained ties with all my writers will help me out.

    Their remarks were uniformly positive. None mentioned specific letters, but one adcom did note that I had a good letter, a glowing but not particularly useful (read: character-related) letter, and three glowing letters that helped my case considerably...even though I was outright rejected from that school. Death by GPA, I guess.

    *I brought beer to my profs. That was a spectacular idea. I got each a six-pack of Boulevard Pale Ale and New Belgium's Fat Tire, neither of which are available in North Carolina.
     
  14. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Never mind my original post. I got accepted to Arkansas today!
     
  15. RoadRunner17

    RoadRunner17 Fleet of feet
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    Congrats!!
     
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  17. mishelli

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    congratulations! I'm glad it worked out so well for you!!

    I'm kind of in a sticky situation as well. If I don't get in this season, I'll be reapplying in a few weeks. Does anyone else have any thoughts about reusing a personal statement? I know that my application was that good, I would have been accepted by now. However, I think my weak point is my academic record, not necessarily the personal statement. I'm struggling to figure out how to update my PS to reflect what's changed in my life particularly since I feel like all I've been doing this year is apply to medical school...

    **edited** actually after some more searching I seem to have found my answer on another thread: re-write! re-write! re-write! Sigh.

    But I did have another question: I haven't been "officially" wait-listed at the three schools I'm still waiting to hear back from.
    When do you think is a good time to call and see if I can get feedback on what they thought about my app/interview/etc? Generally is it difficult to get feedback from schools?
     
  18. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I'd call them now. I emailed Arkansas within a week of receiving my waitlist, and the director of admissions(!) called me back the next day to discuss my application. The schools I contacted were more than happy to fill me in on what they thought of my credentials, but I've heard tell of some rather frigid responses to application inquiries. Even if you get shot down, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You'll never know what the schools thought you needed to improve if you don't ask them.
     
  19. mishelli

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    thanks, I will do that.
     
  20. Agreed.

    The PS should always be updated since it's now a year after it was originally written - what have you done since the last application cycle?
     
  21. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    Just as a follow up: I got into a school off the waitlist this week... I still have more waitlists to hear back from including my #1 but I obviously won't be reapplying...
     
    #19 dArroway, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  22. tbo

    tbo MS-4

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    Congrats dArroway and don't worry. Awkwardness will lead to utter glee and potentially anxiety for what's to come for the next 4 years. It's all good though - I think any one of us would trade for that set of emotions any day. Best of luck.
     
  23. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    Thanks tbo. I'm pretty excited, it's nice to know that I'd definitely going to be an MD.
     
    #21 dArroway, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  24. whateva07

    whateva07 Member

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    So reusing secondaries = bad or good....

    b/c it would be nice to be able to just turn it in
     
  25. daniellema13

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    Does anyone know if schools have access to your old application and if so whether they actually look at it? I realize it's impossible to know for every school, but has anyone ever heard of ANY school that looks at old apps when re-applying?

    ***whoops forgot i was in this thread, but i guess still a good place to post. im referring to entire app though, not just PS and recs...***
     
  26. Webghost

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    Hey guys,
    I don't know if this is the right place to post/ask but I just wanted to know your thoughts on using old letters. I applied last year and my interviewer said my letters were good and I'd really love to keep all of them. Because I'm applying to many schools each school kinda requires a different letter for example, 2 sci, at least one non sci, at least one from major, 1 from non professor, so I have the perfect combination. However, I use my undergrads VE file service so they only accept 5 and I can't add another without substituting one of the necessary ones!! They are only one year old, so I don't think it's necessarily needed to sub out one just for a recent date?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  27. Mobius1985

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    If they are about a year old, there is no need to get them reprinted with a new date, or to try to find new writers. It sounds like you're fine with what you have.
     
  28. smalbert

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    not to be the bearer of bad news, but i went to a meeting at VCU where the dean of admissions said very directly and unequivocally that you absolutely SHOULD NOT re-use your personal statement. she said you should basically throw it away and start from scratch, and that if you are a re-applicant, she literally pulls your old file and compares it to your new one to see what changes have been made.

    for the LOR she said that you don't HAVE to get new ones, but generally they do like to see at least one updated letter from the past year.

    obviously this is only VCU, but i would definitely venture on the side of caution when choosing to re-use old materials.
     

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