How critical is missing one LOR

schwiss
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How critical is missing one LOR

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:36 am

I just heard that due to very understandable reasons one of my recommenders might not be able to submit his recommendation to every target school in time. His letter should be very strong, however, and I really don't have time to get another one now, so is it absolutely fatal not to have three?

I mean, will two LOR's mean automatic fail, without regard to the application itself? Thus, should I just get some random prof to write a short mediocre letter just for the sake of getting my application read? The two remaining letters are strong and discuss my research to a good detail, and the "problematic" recommender said he should be able to submit the letter to most places. I will obviously do some prioritization with regards to where he should submit the letters, but I'm wondering with what to do with the remaining ones.

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grae313
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Re: How critical is missing one LOR

Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:31 pm

Many schools will not evaluate (read: will not even look at) your application until it is complete. If it's a really good reason, you might try contacting the schools with your explanation and ask them what they would recommend. They'll tell you if it's OK or if you need to get another letter.

schwiss
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Re: How critical is missing one LOR

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:12 pm

Dang. I guess I have to get a backup recommender, then. I guess "He got A in my class. Well, that's all." is better than not being evaluated.

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grae313
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Re: How critical is missing one LOR

Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:30 pm

Remember though you can update your application afterward with the new letter.

schwiss
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Re: How critical is missing one LOR

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:27 pm

grae313 wrote:Remember though you can update your application afterward with the new letter.


Do you mean first submitting the backup letter, and then trying to convince the actual recommender to have time to submit the real letter?

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HappyQuark
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Re: How critical is missing one LOR

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:38 pm

schwiss wrote:
grae313 wrote:Remember though you can update your application afterward with the new letter.


Do you mean first submitting the backup letter, and then trying to convince the actual recommender to have time to submit the real letter?


I believe she is suggesting that you can submit your application with 3 letters of rec (the original 2 plus the alternate one you discussed previously). Then, ask the professor if he can still write you that letter of rec even if it can't be done before the deadline, as most admissions departments will allow you to add the letter of rec after the deadline. You may want to check with the admissions department at a couple of schools to make sure they will allow you to do this, but I've never heard of a graduate school that wouldn't allow you to make some minor additions to an application that was completed in full and on time. Plus, if you explain your situation they may allow you to submit your last rec a little late.




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