Late Letters of Recommendation

CarlBrannen
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Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:57 pm

I've finally got my 2nd set of letters of recommendation and now I'm sweating the last. Anyone else so late?

I believe that the writer is trying to get into Britain and may be having difficulty due to the snowy weather there (and its effect on the airports). I guess I can ask for another letter from an alternate but can't do that until say January 5th.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:48 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:I've finally got my 2nd set of letters of recommendation and now I'm sweating the last. Anyone else so late?

I believe that the writer is trying to get into Britain and may be having difficulty due to the snowy weather there (and its effect on the airports). I guess I can ask for another letter from an alternate but can't do that until say January 5th.


Unfortunately I'm banking on most schools not being to strict on when they get their letters of rec right on time because 2 of my 3 letter writers, despite being two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, are super flaky. It's my understanding that most schools don't seriously starting looking at applications till early to mid january so I'm not too worried about it.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:31 am

HappyQuark wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:I've finally got my 2nd set of letters of recommendation and now I'm sweating the last. Anyone else so late?

I believe that the writer is trying to get into Britain and may be having difficulty due to the snowy weather there (and its effect on the airports). I guess I can ask for another letter from an alternate but can't do that until say January 5th.


Unfortunately I'm banking on most schools not being to strict on when they get their letters of rec right on time because 2 of my 3 letter writers, despite being two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, are super flaky. It's my understanding that most schools don't seriously starting looking at applications till early to mid january so I'm not too worried about it.


Yeah, I was going to post something about this as well. Two of my recommendation writers have turned around every recommendation within the next day I inputted their information. However, one of my writers seems to wait until the last minute on submitting his letter. After reminding him on the 13th of the deadlines on the 15th, he submitted them fairly quickly. Now I'm sitting at the next deadline set on January 1st, and have reminded him a few times. It is just making my days stressful knowing my applications aren't fully complete, especially when I've already submitted all the cashmuneyz.

With that being said, it appears to me that schools must not put their foot down on this part of the application as much. Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised if great students get rejected just because of a recommendation writer being a day or two short. Even though I'm sure schools will be forgiving on this part, it still makes me nervous!

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:43 am

I still only have 2 of 3 LoRs in. On January 4th I'm going to ask my boss to write a 4th letter. She can't say anything about my "research potential" except that at least I show up for work regularly (I teach physics at ITT).

So does anyone know if having 3 of 4 letters in will be enough to complete an application? Or do I need to cancel the missing letter writer?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:39 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:I still only have 2 of 3 LoRs in. On January 4th I'm going to ask my boss to write a 4th letter. She can't say anything about my "research potential" except that at least I show up for work regularly (I teach physics at ITT).

So does anyone know if having 3 of 4 letters in will be enough to complete an application? Or do I need to cancel the missing letter writer?


I would assume that by adding the fourth recommendation, that you'll still only need to fulfill the requirement of three recommendations. I almost added a fourth recommendation for mine as well, just to make sure I had three done, but luckily my other recommendation came through just now, 1 day before deadlines.

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:12 pm

As it turns out, through desperate use of google-fu, I managed to find a way of getting in contact with my vacationing LoR writer and all is now well. I'm only missing one LoR (to MIT), and I bet it gets handled in a day or so.

It will be interesting to see if late LoRs have any negative effects. I suspect things will be okay.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:16 am

CarlBrannen wrote:I still only have 2 of 3 LoRs in. On January 4th I'm going to ask my boss to write a 4th letter. She can't say anything about my "research potential" except that at least I show up for work regularly (I teach physics at ITT).

So does anyone know if having 3 of 4 letters in will be enough to complete an application? Or do I need to cancel the missing letter writer?


I'm in the same situation. 2 of my 3 letter writers have submitted all of their recommendations and the third hasn't submitted anything and worse isn't responding to any of my emails. I don't have any good options for a fourth letter writer so my current plan of attack involves excessive use of finger crossing

Astro-K
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby Astro-K » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:43 am

Same here--I feel like I've had to poke and prod my references to get everything in on time. Yesterday, one of my top choice schools emailed me to say that the committee was looking at my app RIGHT THEN (the app was due yesterday) but they didn't have any of my recommendation letters, and could I please check on the status of those? Stressful, in more ways than one.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:37 am

Astro-K wrote:Yesterday, one of my top choice schools emailed me to say that the committee was looking at my app RIGHT THEN (the app was due yesterday) but they didn't have any of my recommendation letters, and could I please check on the status of those?


Wow! And I thought my letters were late.

The only "incomplete" emails I had were from UT and MIT (I think), and they just noted that my application wasn't complete.

It would be nice to get some sort of information about how late your LoRs can get before it really hoses you. So maybe we should add that information to the results.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:12 am

CarlBrannen wrote:
Astro-K wrote:Yesterday, one of my top choice schools emailed me to say that the committee was looking at my app RIGHT THEN (the app was due yesterday) but they didn't have any of my recommendation letters, and could I please check on the status of those?


Wow! And I thought my letters were late.

The only "incomplete" emails I had were from UT and MIT (I think), and they just noted that my application wasn't complete.

It would be nice to get some sort of information about how late your LoRs can get before it really hoses you. So maybe we should add that information to the results.


This is a good idea. As of right now I haven't received any emails notifying me of missing info despite the fact that I know I'm missing info on the 4-5 apps with deadlines that have already passed. However, I did get an email from Cornell applied physics telling me that they have begun reviewing my application and this is without my third LOR. However, if I recall correctly, the applied program only required a minimum of 2 LOR so hopefully my third will get in before they start making some serious decisions.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:12 am

HappyQuark wrote:I don't have any good options for a fourth letter writer


Just to let you know I'm here if you need me. Especially if you need letters written for the same schools I'm applying to. >:)

-Riley

Dreaded Anomaly
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby Dreaded Anomaly » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:11 am

It's past 11pm EST on January 15th, and one of my recommenders has yet to submit two letters. I contacted her at the beginning of the week, and she asked to have the submission links resent, which I did. She submitted the December 15th letters on the afternoon of the 14th, but it's much later than that now...

Edit: My recommender reports that she uploaded her letters on Friday and can see that the attachments succeeded, but the status of recommendations hasn't changed when I log in. I'm thinking that UIUC and UMD's servers might be getting overloaded by last-minute submissions, can anyone confirm?

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:31 pm

Dreaded Anomaly wrote:It's past 11pm EST on January 15th, and one of my recommenders has yet to submit two letters. I contacted her at the beginning of the week, and she asked to have the submission links resent, which I did. She submitted the December 15th letters on the afternoon of the 14th, but it's much later than that now...

Edit: My recommender reports that she uploaded her letters on Friday and can see that the attachments succeeded, but the status of recommendations hasn't changed when I log in. I'm thinking that UIUC and UMD's servers might be getting overloaded by last-minute submissions, can anyone confirm?


If it makes you feel any better, one of my recommenders has yet to submit a single of his recommendations to any of the schools I've applied to and the deadline has passed for all of the schools but one. I've been out of town for work for the past month and couldn't talk to him in person so I've been stuck writing emails and making phone calls. When I first emailed him about the LOR's he said he would be happy to write them for me and even said that he would start submitting them that very week (this was in the second week of December). Since then, he hasn't replied to any of my emails or phone calls so I have no idea what's going on. I just got back in town this weekend so I'm cutting out of work early to go have a chat. I'm crossing my fingers that the schools I applied to while let me know I'm missing some info rather than toss me out of the pile so I can at least have a small window in which to make sure my last letter gets in. Otherwise, my third recommender is getting a bill for the $1000+ I spent applying to schools that he handily sabotaged.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby CarlBrannen » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:56 pm

HappyQuark wrote:Otherwise, my third recommender is getting a bill for the $1000+ I spent applying to schools that he handily sabotaged.


I think it's time for you to choose a 4th LoR writer. ANYONE. If your later writer comes through that's great, but at least you won't give the schools an excuse to ignore your application.

I wish admissionprof would comment on this.

admissionprof
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby admissionprof » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:36 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Otherwise, my third recommender is getting a bill for the $1000+ I spent applying to schools that he handily sabotaged.


I think it's time for you to choose a 4th LoR writer. ANYONE. If your later writer comes through that's great, but at least you won't give the schools an excuse to ignore your application.

I wish admissionprof would comment on this.



If an applicant looks strong with only two letters, we will usually accept them anyway. But if they are marginal, we will wait for the third. We won't throw the application out, but if the third letter doesn't come in by the end of this month, it would be a serious problem.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:15 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
Dreaded Anomaly wrote:It's past 11pm EST on January 15th, and one of my recommenders has yet to submit two letters. I contacted her at the beginning of the week, and she asked to have the submission links resent, which I did. She submitted the December 15th letters on the afternoon of the 14th, but it's much later than that now...

Edit: My recommender reports that she uploaded her letters on Friday and can see that the attachments succeeded, but the status of recommendations hasn't changed when I log in. I'm thinking that UIUC and UMD's servers might be getting overloaded by last-minute submissions, can anyone confirm?


If it makes you feel any better, one of my recommenders has yet to submit a single of his recommendations to any of the schools I've applied to and the deadline has passed for all of the schools but one. I've been out of town for work for the past month and couldn't talk to him in person so I've been stuck writing emails and making phone calls. When I first emailed him about the LOR's he said he would be happy to write them for me and even said that he would start submitting them that very week (this was in the second week of December). Since then, he hasn't replied to any of my emails or phone calls so I have no idea what's going on. I just got back in town this weekend so I'm cutting out of work early to go have a chat. I'm crossing my fingers that the schools I applied to while let me know I'm missing some info rather than toss me out of the pile so I can at least have a small window in which to make sure my last letter gets in. Otherwise, my third recommender is getting a bill for the $1000+ I spent applying to schools that he handily sabotaged.


Update:
I spoke to the professor today and he assured me that he sent out all of his letters last saturday which, I'm hoping, means that the schools simply haven't updated my profile due to the weekend+MLK Day. If he did in fact get them in on Saturday, this means that roughly half of my recs were submitted past the deadline and the other half were submitted exactly on/just before the deadline. As long as I start seeing my rec status updating in the next day or two, I'll be content with my applications being slightly late but before the first offers have been made.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:58 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
Dreaded Anomaly wrote:It's past 11pm EST on January 15th, and one of my recommenders has yet to submit two letters. I contacted her at the beginning of the week, and she asked to have the submission links resent, which I did. She submitted the December 15th letters on the afternoon of the 14th, but it's much later than that now...

Edit: My recommender reports that she uploaded her letters on Friday and can see that the attachments succeeded, but the status of recommendations hasn't changed when I log in. I'm thinking that UIUC and UMD's servers might be getting overloaded by last-minute submissions, can anyone confirm?


If it makes you feel any better, one of my recommenders has yet to submit a single of his recommendations to any of the schools I've applied to and the deadline has passed for all of the schools but one. I've been out of town for work for the past month and couldn't talk to him in person so I've been stuck writing emails and making phone calls. When I first emailed him about the LOR's he said he would be happy to write them for me and even said that he would start submitting them that very week (this was in the second week of December). Since then, he hasn't replied to any of my emails or phone calls so I have no idea what's going on. I just got back in town this weekend so I'm cutting out of work early to go have a chat. I'm crossing my fingers that the schools I applied to while let me know I'm missing some info rather than toss me out of the pile so I can at least have a small window in which to make sure my last letter gets in. Otherwise, my third recommender is getting a bill for the $1000+ I spent applying to schools that he handily sabotaged.


Update:
I spoke to the professor today and he assured me that he sent out all of his letters last saturday which, I'm hoping, means that the schools simply haven't updated my profile due to the weekend+MLK Day. If he did in fact get them in on Saturday, this means that roughly half of my recs were submitted past the deadline and the other half were submitted exactly on/just before the deadline. As long as I start seeing my rec status updating in the next day or two, I'll be content with my applications being slightly late but before the first offers have been made.


Update to the Update:

I've given it a few days and still have not received a single email from any institution suggesting they've received this professors recommendation and have checked all of their status pages and his is still listed as missing. At first I assumed that because most schools were starting their review process, the status pages/email responses just weren't very reliable. However, one of my other letter writers today realized that he'd missed a school, submitted the recommendation and I was immediately (within 5-10 minutes) sent an auto-response that they'd received it. At this point I'm positive that he hasn't actually submitted anything and must have just lied when I asked him about it. Before I confront him and/or start sending emails to all of my prospective graduate programs asking for a confirmation on this last recommendation, is there any conceivable way that this professor submitted all of his info and for some reason I was never alerted?

I'm very perplexed because this professor is one of the friendliest and professional I've ever had and we've always had a very good rapport. He has a tendency to be a bit absent-minded but this is ridiculous.

kapil_ds
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby kapil_ds » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:09 pm

You might want to confirm whether he submitted recommendations online or the old fashioned, paper based, snail mail way. As you pointed out, it takes only 10-15 mins for the status to be updated in case of online recommendation.
You might be better of asking some one else for the 3rd recommendation, if that is still possible.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:14 pm

kapil_ds wrote:You might want to confirm whether he submitted recommendations online or the old fashioned, paper based, snail mail way. As you pointed out, it takes only 10-15 mins for the status to be updated in case of online recommendation.
You might be better of asking some one else for the 3rd recommendation, if that is still possible.


When I spoke to him, he said that he filled out all of them online via the links in the emails he received. I'm racking my brain to think of another potential letter writer but I truly can't think of any very good alternatives, especially this late in the game. I suppose having a third would at least keep my app from being tossed out for not having the minimum requirement of 3 recs.

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zxcv
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby zxcv » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:25 pm

I'm not sure why you're relying on online status reports instead of calling schools. I would definitely contact the admins who handle graduate admissions before you confront your letter writer.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:00 pm

zxcv wrote:I'm not sure why you're relying on online status reports instead of calling schools. I would definitely contact the admins who handle graduate admissions before you confront your letter writer.


The primary reason is because I typically work 10-12 hour days and rarely have access to a reliable phone signal, generally making it impossible for me to call during standard business hours.

Second, I've had no reason to doubt them before this. One of my letter writers emailed me immediately before he started filling out his recommendations and then I received a flood of confirmation emails in the 30 minutes after I received that initial email. The same was true of my second letter writer and when he submitted my last letter, in the example I mentioned previously, I was standing next to him when he submitted it and roughly 5 minutes later my phone pinged to let me know I had received the confirmation email.

Unfortunately, I'll probably have to work another half day or use one of my vacation days just to spend the time to go through my list of grad programs, call them all then go visit my professor to ask him about my letters again.

kapil_ds
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby kapil_ds » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:00 pm

Since you are working full time, you can ask someone at work for a recommendation. That might be an option if you haven't already submitted a work related recommendation.

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grae313
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Re: Late Letters of Recommendation

Postby grae313 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:35 pm

Maybe there was an error or something when your letter writer tried to submit their letters and they didn't realize it. You might let him/her know that you haven't gotten any auto-responses, resend the LoR email and ask him/her to resubmit your letters.




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