Should my friend apply this year (even to DO)? Situation regarding missing cover letter from school.

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j_diggity

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My friend missed the deadline for the cover letter from our school’s pre health advisory committee and thus won’t have a cover letter in their letter packet. They are determined to apply this year. However, the advisor offered to write a short letter of support and introduction - which is my impression of what a cover letter is anyway - and include that in the packet; I’m not sure what the difference is but I imagine schools would be able to tell a difference.

My question is how big of a deal is this and will it affect them negatively?

They’re also applying DO. I’m curious because they are one of my good friends and I want what’s best for them.

Other stats are URM, 3.8ish GPA, MCAT around 507-508 (I can’t remember exactly), no traditional, thousands of clinical hours.

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I know nothing about your friend's application or why the cover letter is needed. Did the friend have an institutional letter in their last application attempt?
This is their first application cycle.

The cover letter is standard procedure at my school; pretty much all prehealth applicants apply with it. It's similar to but not the same as a committee letter. It's a letter of introduction and endorsement/support to highlight strengths and support the narrative for your med school app. It's written by your academic advisor and has to go through an approval process. I'm worried that applying without it or applying with a modified/unusual/short non-official "cover letter" will be a red flag for programs, since it's a departure from what applicants from my institution normally apply with.
 
This is their first application cycle.

The cover letter is standard procedure at my school; pretty much all prehealth applicants apply with it. It's similar to but not the same as a committee letter. It's a letter of introduction and endorsement/support to highlight strengths and support the narrative for your med school app. It's written by your academic advisor and has to go through an approval process. I'm worried that applying without it or applying with a modified/unusual/short non-official "cover letter" will be a red flag for programs, since it's a departure from what applicants from my institution normally apply with.
I don't know how many applicants your school sends out. Most of the high-volume undergraduate programs don't have such a letter, so the only programs who could be concerned would be your local (in-state/near-regional) schools who are accustomed to reading a lot of applications from fellow students at your school. But I would also say this would be a negligible concern.
 
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I don't know how many applicants your school sends out. Most of the high-volume undergraduate programs don't have such a letter, so the only programs who could be concerned would be your local (in-state/near-regional) schools who are accustomed to reading a lot of applications from fellow students at your school. But I would also say this would be a negligible concern.

It's WashU if that makes any difference.
 
There was the option of a cover/committee letter at my school. However, I chose to have my professors write letters separately. I'd earned a B in the department chair's upper-level class and in one of the classes a committee member taught. Instead, I chose letters from professors in whose classes I did well. It didn't mean anything; it might have been brought up in a secondary once or twice and an interview once or twice, but it doesn't mean much!
 
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