Gladiolus23

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So today I got an email from my school's one and only pre-health advisor telling me that the school won't be giving out any more committee composite letters to med school applicants. I've heard a great deal about the importance of this letter and now, I'm shocked that they would take it away from students! It's like they want the students to fail in their pursuit for medical school or they're just being lazy :bang:

Does this mean that I'm stuck with low ranked med school choices? Or worse, none at all?!
 
Apr 23, 2013
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No, not at all. If your school doesn't offer one then you can simply get separate letters. Honestly, better no committee than a bad one who doesn't know what they're doing!

If someone does not get a committee letter from a school when the school DOES offer it, then that can sometimes be viewed poorly.
 

487806

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So today I got an email from my school's one and only pre-health advisor telling me that the school won't be giving out any more committee composite letters to med school applicants. I've heard a great deal about the importance of this letter and now, I'm shocked that they would take it away from students! It's like they want the students to fail in their pursuit for medical school or they're just being lazy :bang:

Does this mean that I'm stuck with low ranked med school choices? Or worse, none at all?!
No, it's a blessing in disguise. Committee letters are usually garbage and are notorious for causing applicants to be delayed weeks after finishing with the secondaries (i.e. being complete later than necessary). Just get the letters from your profs and others individually via Interfolio and you're set.
 

IncognitoGuy

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Some schools require a committee letter if your school offers that service, but otherwise you just collect letters of recommendation and use those as you would have done for a committee.

There's no difference in competitiveness when comparing committee letters to individual letters. Calm down.
 

ninjaman22

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So today I got an email from my school's one and only pre-health advisor telling me that the school won't be giving out any more committee composite letters to med school applicants. I've heard a great deal about the importance of this letter and now, I'm shocked that they would take it away from students! It's like they want the students to fail in their pursuit for medical school or they're just being lazy :bang:

Does this mean that I'm stuck with low ranked med school choices? Or worse, none at all?!
Do you go to GMU by any chance? Lol
 
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Dec 3, 2011
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Well, if your school simply doesn't offer the service anymore, then there's nothing you can do about it, and med schools won't hold it against you. I transferred from an institution where there is a committee letter to one where there isn't (that isn't why I transferred) and I feel SO SO SO much better not having to get a committee letter. If you get your letters early and use Interfolio, your application can be verified and complete at the beginning of the cycle, which puts you in a much better position than the applicant who doesn't have a complete application, due to having a committee letter sent out in October.
 
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Gladiolus23

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And thanks so much everyone! This makes me feel a lot better. I've been having a lot of issues with the pre-health office at my school and this just made me so mad lol now I understand that this could actually be the reason for making me happier during application time :)
 
Apr 12, 2012
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The committee letter is useful for, among other things, calling the adcom's attention to trends at your school. For instance, is XYZ class unusually rigorous? Did this student take the typical pre-med sequence, or more rigorous sequences as sometimes are offered by physical science departments for majors? Is an apparently mediocre grade or GPA actually strong for this particular school (i.e. touching upon grade deflation/inflation, etc.)? And even, how does this candidate compare to the school's other candidates admitted to ABC medical school? All of these can be addressed by one of your recommenders IMO. You should be fine.
 

ninjaman22

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Do you go there as well?
haha yeah I used to. I graduated in May! Oh and I got the same email today that's why I was like what are the chances that two schools stopped doing committee letter on the same day
 

InGen

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haha yeah I used to. I graduated in May! Oh and I got the same email today that's why I was like what are the chances that two schools stopped doing committee letter on the same day
GMU alum here. Not sure if you've heard of Dr. Chuck, but he was the premed advisor for a long time, then ended up getting fired/quit (not really clear, a lot of different rumors) the summer after my junior year... pretty much the most important time for a premed. I had gone through the whole committee process throughout junior year and jumped through all the hoops to get a committee letter, then at the beginning of the summer when I was about to submit my AMCAS, he stopped replying to emails and phone calls. Found out shortly after that he was gone, so I couldn't get my committee letter and all my LORs that he uploaded to my committee packet were inaccessible :bang:. Needless to say, that pretty much destroyed any chance I had of getting in that cycle and left me pretty devastated. After another cycle and WITHOUT that damn GMU prehealth committee's "advising", I have been offered an acceptance.

TL;DR: I did it without a committee letter after GMU screwed me over
 
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dap

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+1 to the opinion that requiring a committee letter just because your school offers one is asinine. What if your pre-med committee does not have a good track record getting students where they want to go? What if the one member of the 3-person committee you actually took a class with was both inarticulate and often demonstrated his lack of understanding of the medical school admissions process? What if you don't want your real letters (written by brilliant, passionate professionals who know you well) to be partially obscured behind some busy physics professor's clumsy prose like a beautiful woman behind a moldy shower-curtain?

Ah, and don't forget that in order to obtain that moldy shower-curtain you have to jump through at least thirty-seven arbitrary hoops and deal with bureaucracy and committees, also known as the boogers and farts of human civilization.

OP, I consider you lucky.

TL;DR: I did it without a committee letter even though my school offered one. Because punk rock.
 

Syndicate

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No, it's a blessing in disguise. Committee letters are usually garbage and are notorious for causing applicants to be delayed weeks after finishing with the secondaries (i.e. being complete later than necessary). Just get the letters from your profs and others individually via Interfolio and you're set.
That's not true. Committee letters from top undergrads are the reason a lot of the kids went to those pricey Ivy's in the first place.
 
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Gladiolus23

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That's not true. Committee letters from top undergrads are the reason a lot of the kids went to those pricey Ivy's in the first place.
But does that mean that my LOR's will be looked down upon when compared to all the IVY and Top 20 undergrad students' committee letters? Or are they regarded the same?
 
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Gladiolus23

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GMU alum here. Not sure if you've heard of Dr. Chuck, but he was the premed advisor for a long time, then ended up getting fired/quit (not really clear, a lot of different rumors) the summer after my junior year... pretty much the most important time for a premed. I had gone through the whole committee process throughout junior year and jumped through all the hoops to get a committee letter, then at the beginning of the summer when I was about to submit my AMCAS, he stopped replying to emails and phone calls. Found out shortly after that he was gone, so I couldn't get my committee letter and all my LORs that he uploaded to my committee packet were inaccessible :bang:. Needless to say, that pretty much destroyed any chance I had of getting in that cycle and left me pretty devastated. After another cycle and WITHOUT that damn GMU prehealth committee's "advising", I have been offered an acceptance.

TL;DR: I did it without a committee letter after GMU screwed me over
Wow that's terrible...There is a new pre-health advisor on campus, and she's okay I guess...but not great =/ I really think they should have a legit pre-medical office with more than one advisor, and I REALLY wish they would do individual advising instead of group advising :( I don't find that supportive at all.

I'm glad you managed to make it to a med school though!
 
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Goro

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It's an urban legend among pre-meds that med schools only want committee letters. It won't be a problem with individual LORs.

So chill.


So today I got an email from my school's one and only pre-health advisor telling me that the school won't be giving out any more committee composite letters to med school applicants. I've heard a great deal about the importance of this letter and now, I'm shocked that they would take it away from students! It's like they want the students to fail in their pursuit for medical school or they're just being lazy :bang:

Does this mean that I'm stuck with low ranked med school choices? Or worse, none at all?!
 
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Jul 14, 2013
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Well, if your school simply doesn't offer the service anymore, then there's nothing you can do about it, and med schools won't hold it against you. I transferred from an institution where there is a committee letter to one where there isn't (that isn't why I transferred) and I feel SO SO SO much better not having to get a committee letter. If you get your letters early and use Interfolio, your application can be verified and complete at the beginning of the cycle, which puts you in a much better position than the applicant who doesn't have a complete application, due to having a committee letter sent out in October.
Agreed. I went to a large state institution that did not give committee letters because of there being too many pre-meds. I cannot tell you what a relief it was to not have to deal with the moods and whimsies of some pre-med committee. It also gives you complete control as to sending the letters that will make you look the strongest. I think this is a very lucky development on your part!
 
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