When Do My Letters of Recommendation (specifically committee letter) Need To Be Submitted?

Apr 2, 2013
195
125
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I plan on submitting my application as soon as possible for the 2014-2015 cycle.
My pre-health adviser told me that she works on committee letters in mid to late summer.
The 2014-2015 cycle will be the first time my alma mater has provided committee letters.
I will be submitting in early June and based on other threads I've seen, I could get some secondaries back as quickly as two weeks later, but more likely in a month.
My adviser said that it takes one to three months for AMCAS to be processed and that at my school they only need the LORs a week before the interview.

Do I have anything to worry about as far as getting the LORs on time is concerned?
If so, what can I do to expedite the process that won't negatively affect the adviser's opinion of me and therefore the quality of the letter?
 
Last edited:
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Sorry OP, you may have to suck it up. My committee letter did not come in until August 19th this cycle. By that date, my primary was verified and many of my secondaries were sent in. Unfortunately, I was not "complete" at the various programs until my LOR came in from the committee so my application was not queued up for review until my committee got their act together.

My advice to you is to let your adviser know when you have been verified by AMCAS so that your letter can be prioritized over students' whose applications have not yet been verified. Other than that, there are many students in your position every year and we have to accept the fact that our applications couldn't have been complete any earlier.

Edit: there are some exceptions, but most medical schools won't look at your application until all the parts are in (including new MCAT, if any, at LOR)
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
You need LORs in to be considered complete at most schools, that is, to be considered at ALL.

If your adviser doesn't understand this they are poorly informed. Talk to other premeds at your school and find out how the premed office operates historically. You're fine if the committee letter is completed during the summer. But I do know people who have been very screwed over by late committee letters--one person I knew his committee letter was sent in in November. He still got in to a few schools, but nowhere near the number he should have given his stats and ECs.
 

Pacna

Dyslexics, untie!
Jun 2, 2013
2,017
2,251
MN
Status
Medical Student
If so, what can I do to expedite the process that won't negatively affect the adviser's opinion of me and therefore the quality of the letter?
In my experience, politely reminding the writer of the deadline and thanking them profusely goes over pretty well.

Be tactful. They're doing you a favor. :)
 
OP
dorian baltar
Apr 2, 2013
195
125
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
If your adviser doesn't understand this they are poorly informed. Talk to other premeds at your school and find out how the premed office operates historically. You're fine if the committee letter is completed during the summer. But I do know people who have been very screwed over by late committee letters--one person I knew his committee letter was sent in in November. He still got in to a few schools, but nowhere near the number he should have given his stats and ECs.
I completely agree.
The problem is, this is the first year our school has a pre-med office.
I guess I can just E-mail all the schools I like, compile their responses and determine whether mid to late summer will be early enough. If not, I'll send the responses and hopefully that will convince the adviser to start writing the letters earlier.
Sorry OP, you may have to suck it up. My committee letter did not come in until August 19th this cycle. By that date, my primary was verified and many of my secondaries were sent in. Unfortunately, I was not "complete" at the various programs until my LOR came in from the committee so my application was not queued up for review until my committee got their act together.

My advice to you is to let your adviser know when you have been verified by AMCAS so that your letter can be prioritized over students' whose applications have not yet been verified. Other than that, there are many students in your position every year and we have to accept the fact that our applications couldn't have been complete any earlier.

Edit: there are some exceptions, but most medical schools won't look at your application until all the parts are in (including new MCAT, if any, at LOR)
So you can get secondaries, but not an interview invite without LORs? I'm still not super clear on the secondary process. Is the screening for secondaries mostly numbers based and that's why they don't need LORs to send them?
In my experience, politely reminding the writer of the deadline and thanking them profusely goes over pretty well.

Be tactful. They're doing you a favor. :)
The problem is the adviser's idea of the deadline doesn't seem to be compatible with me getting my applications in as early as I would like.
It's easy to be tactful when asking for something like a LOR, it's quite a bit more difficult to tell the adviser she's not doing her job quickly enough for me. :p
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
You can get secondaries before your application is complete. I applied to 17 schools, and got about 9 secondaries before I was verified. Another 6 came in after I was verified. 2 more came in after I was "complete" because 2 of my schools pre-screened. Even though I didn't have the secondaries, I used the SDN school threads to find out what the essays were and have the essays written up before I actually got the secondaries myself.
 
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OP
dorian baltar
Apr 2, 2013
195
125
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
You can get secondaries before your application is complete. I applied to 17 schools, and got about 9 secondaries before I was verified. Another 6 came in after I was verified. 2 more came in after I was "complete" because 2 of my schools pre-screened. Even though I didn't have the secondaries, I used the SDN school threads to find out what the essays were and have the essays written up before I actually got the secondaries myself.
Thanks for this information!
Could you help clarify "verified" and "complete"?
I think "verified" means that AAMC verified the information in the AMCAS like grades, classes, MCAT score, etc. and "complete" means that everything in the application is there, like LORs, essays, etc. Is that right?
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for this information!
Could you help clarify "verified" and "complete"?
I think "verified" means that AAMC verified the information in the AMCAS like grades, classes, MCAT score, etc. and "complete" means that everything in the application is there, like LORs, essays, etc. Is that right?
You are exactly right: you can be verified as long as you submit your primary and have all your transcripts received by AMCAS...and wait the AMCAS verification time. You are complete when all parts of your application are at each school's disposal (MCAT, including any outstanding retake scores, verified primary, LOR, secondary, secondary fee). You may not get a "complete" status from the school until your various pieces are processed by their offices, but that is 100% out of your hands.
 
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Oct 19, 2013
900
791
Status
Pharmacy Student
I'm in the same boat. This was the first year my school had a committee, and my committee letter wasn't sent out until the end of October. :(