Waiving rights to recommendations

abeboparebop
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Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby abeboparebop » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:11 pm

Does anybody have any knowledge on how waiving/not waiving is viewed by admissions committees and recommendation writers? I've waived all of my rights by default but I have no idea how this could affect the whole process.

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:19 pm

abeboparebop wrote:Does anybody have any knowledge on how waiving/not waiving is viewed by admissions committees and recommendation writers? I've waived all of my rights by default but I have no idea how this could affect the whole process.


Legally it can't.

sterculus
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby sterculus » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:27 pm

I think if you don't waive your right to see them, your rec letter writers won't be happy (even if they're planning on writing you a positive letter). And the admissions committee probably won't value them as much as a confidential one.

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secander2!
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby secander2! » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:11 am

I believe sterculus is right. From what I understand (via Donald Asher's Graduate Admissions Essays), if you don't waive your rights, the admissions committee might not trust your good letters. On the other hand, if your recommenders aren't willing to let you see their letters, it's possible that you should choose different recommenders.

sterculus
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby sterculus » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:54 pm

secander2! wrote:On the other hand, if your recommenders aren't willing to let you see their letters, it's possible that you should choose different recommenders.

I had one professor that I've taken several classes from and done research with for three years tell me that he would only write letters if they were confidential, even though he says the letters will be positive (and I have no reason to think otherwise).

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secander2!
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby secander2! » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:18 pm

I agree with you, personally, I'm not asking my recommenders what's in their letters because I trust them a lot. But it stands to reason that if they don't want to disclose the contents, you might want to think twice about having that person as a recommender. I think it's best to take it on a case by case basis, always keeping in mind that one bad letter can sink an application.

admissionprof
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby admissionprof » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:43 am

I will NEVER write a letter of recommendation without a signed waiver. And admissions committees tend not to trust letters without a waiver as much (yes, I know that may not be legal, but there is some subjectivity in the whole process). Just sign the waiver---it isn't worth fussing about.

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Helio
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby Helio » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:36 pm

I mean what is the point of seeing your rec? If you they bash you they bash you, you can't do anything about it. Once the rec is submitted you can't withdraw it anyway.

I know my recs are positive I don't really care what they write about me, from two I basically know what they wrote, the third is a complete mystery to me, but they were very positive and helpful so far, so I doubt it will backfire.. the 4th (STUPID BOULDER) was prof that likes me in class and knows what i can do.

stardust
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby stardust » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:17 am

I'll always waive a letter. But, my problems and worries about this center around bosses
saying stuff they don't think is damaging but it is. For example, I brought in a collaborator
on a research project which really helped the project, but maybe it looks bad that I couldn't
solve everything myself, and same for going to get help at times rather than originating the
solution. Or, if they say I'm a nice person (which I saw from one letter - I was handed my
personnel folder with the letters in them which I signed a waiver to - yes, I peaked and so
would you have!), that's almost insulting. What do they mean by that, that I'm a nice person.
That's what you say when you want to say someone sucks at something and that's the
consolation prize. But, one time that kind of thing worked in my favor. When one boss called
up a reference, the guy said I don't take nonsense from the other students. The student was
trying to move a final exam for her own schedule and getting all the students to sign a petition
and I told her where to go. But, the hiring boss took that as a positive attribute.

Or maybe its just that overanalytical minds we have drive us insane :). It's better we don't
see the letters.

murs
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby murs » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:06 pm

I know my recs are positive I don't really care what they write about me, from two I basically know what they wrote, the third is a complete mystery to me, but they were very positive and helpful so far, so I doubt it will backfire.. the 4th (STUPID BOULDER) was prof that likes me in class and knows what i can do.


Boulder needs 4?!?!?! Their website says three, and I'm praying I just read your post wrong.

As for waiving rights, I personally think it's stupid and would like to see them eventually, but I wouldn't dare do anything that could hurt my chances so I think checking to waive them is the best option.

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Helio
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby Helio » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:13 pm

murs wrote:
I know my recs are positive I don't really care what they write about me, from two I basically know what they wrote, the third is a complete mystery to me, but they were very positive and helpful so far, so I doubt it will backfire.. the 4th (STUPID BOULDER) was prof that likes me in class and knows what i can do.


Boulder needs 4?!?!?! Their website says three, and I'm praying I just read your post wrong.

As for waiving rights, I personally think it's stupid and would like to see them eventually, but I wouldn't dare do anything that could hurt my chances so I think checking to waive them is the best option.


I am applying to the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences not physics, sry forgot to mention that. But they are saying something along the lines of 2 teachers and 1 research advisor for physics i think.

B-Diddy
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby B-Diddy » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:25 am

You can do what you want but I've heard that by waiving them, those letters are taking very seriously because the LOR writers have greater freedom to say what they want. You're just going have to trust them.
Last edited by B-Diddy on Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

bfollinprm
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Re: Waiving rights to recommendations

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:27 pm

admissionprof wrote:I will NEVER write a letter of recommendation without a signed waiver. And admissions committees tend not to trust letters without a waiver as much (yes, I know that may not be legal, but there is some subjectivity in the whole process). Just sign the waiver---it isn't worth fussing about.


I taught high school for 2 years, and I'm the same way. If someone doesn't sign the waiver, I will refuse to write the letter. It isn't because I want to write something terrible, it's that there are legal risks I'm assuming if the student doesn't sign the waiver. The writer can be sued on the grounds that some statement in the letter prevented a student from matriculating at the right school (or at least that's what I was warned against). One time I was forced to write the letter (the department chair strong-armed me, the parents of the particular student were a nightmare). I wrote the most general letter possible, simply restating facts and leaving out any subjective impressions of the student (this student received a B in my class, she turned in all but 2 of her assignments on time, was rarely tardy, etc). The funny thing was I thought she was an excellent student for the school I was recommending her for, and would have been largely positive in my opinions if I wasn't afraid of litigation and long meetings about phrases they took issue with. If that's the kind of letter you want, then don't sign the waiver.




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