What is the impact of a late letter of recommendation on my application?

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Mar 18, 2019
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I made it a priority to ask for all letters early in the cycle, submitted primary on the first day, and started receiving (and submitting) secondary applications on July 10th. For this reason, I am getting slightly stressed about a letter of evaluation that I have yet to receive. I recently reached out to my letter-writer, and they said it would likely be submitted by this weekend or early next week. At that point, it will have been >2 weeks between receiving my secondary and being complete at a number of my designated schools (I expect to have submitted nearly all of my secondary applications at that point).

What is the impact (if there is any) that this late letter and late complete status have on my application? I know some schools (Case Western) explicitly state it is in our best interest to be complete within two weeks of receiving the secondary.

Thanks!
 

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Med schools will review your app as soon as you have all the requirements (primary app, MCAT score, LORs, secondary). So, if your current LORs meet the requirements then your app will be reviewed (or marked ready to review) once you submit your secondary. After that, it's possible that they will look at your application and make a decision based on your app without seeing your final LOR. If your letter is submitted before you submit your secondary, then you don't need to worry about this.

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Mar 18, 2019
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Med schools will review your app as soon as you have all the requirements (primary app, MCAT score, LORs, secondary). So, if your current LORs meet the requirements then your app will be reviewed (or marked ready to review) once you submit your secondary. After that, it's possible that they will look at your application and make a decision based on your app without seeing your final LOR. If your letter is submitted before you submit your secondary, then you don't need to worry about this.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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So it would be in my best interest to not send any letters to medical schools until I have all of them in hand? The letter I am waiting on is very important, and would not like to have it overlooked or not reviewed.
 
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So it would be in my best interest to not send any letters to medical schools until I have all of them in hand? The letter I am waiting on is very important, and would not like to have it overlooked or not reviewed.

You can send them as you get them. Most schools won't look at your app til it's complete.
 
May 19, 2020
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So it would be in my best interest to not send any letters to medical schools until I have all of them in hand? The letter I am waiting on is very important, and would not like to have it overlooked or not reviewed.

My suggestion would just be to wait to submit your secondary for that school. Once the last letter is in, submit the secondary and you'll be complete.
 

gonnif

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Med schools will review your app as soon as you have all the requirements (primary app, MCAT score, LORs, secondary). So, if your current LORs meet the requirements then your app will be reviewed (or marked ready to review) once you submit your secondary. After that, it's possible that they will look at your application and make a decision based on your app without seeing your final LOR. If your letter is submitted before you submit your secondary, then you don't need to worry about this.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Lets emphasize Marked Ready to Review or rather it is in the queue along with the hundreds or thousands of others.
 
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May 19, 2020
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I'm sorry, can you clarify what you mean by this comment?

Gonnif can clarify, but I'm reasonably certain they mean to emphasize that just because your application is finalized doesn't mean it's going to immediately get reviewed. It will be considered "ready to review", and then will be reviewed at some time over the next few months as determined by the process and priorities of the particular school.
 

gonnif

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I'm sorry, can you clarify what you mean by this comment?
Simply because its marked ready to review doesnt mean they will get to it immediately. It can take weeks for the file to be evaluated leaving plenty of time for the letter to come in
 
Oct 6, 2020
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I have already completed secondary applications to several medical schools, including the required number of letters of recommendation for each program. One of my professors just provided me with their letter of recommendation. Because I think it would be a strong letter, I'm interested in sending it to some programs I've applied to. It's not a question of adding it to my AMCAS application, as I had already made a spot for the letter there. If I now send this letter through AMCAS to programs I already completed secondary applications for, will this affect my place "in line" in terms of the order in which they are evaluating applications? I wouldn't want to be bumped to the back of the line because of this letter being added to my application.
 

gonnif

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I have already completed secondary applications to several medical schools, including the required number of letters of recommendation for each program. One of my professors just provided me with their letter of recommendation. Because I think it would be a strong letter, I'm interested in sending it to some programs I've applied to. It's not a question of adding it to my AMCAS application, as I had already made a spot for the letter there. If I now send this letter through AMCAS to programs I already completed secondary applications for, will this affect my place "in line" in terms of the order in which they are evaluating applications? I wouldn't want to be bumped to the back of the line because of this letter being added to my application.
I responded to this to the double posting you did
 
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