Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

cedricyu803
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby cedricyu803 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:26 am

Hi all

I am an international undergrad,
applying to Physics PhD programs of some US universities, including some top- and some mid-ranked ones.

When I chose the option whether to waive right to access the LoRs, I was unaware of the impact it may pose. So I chose no.

Two of my referees have already submitted their LoRs. So it is unlikely it can be changed.

Now I know this option can affect the confidentiality of the letters and give adcom bad impression.

I fear that it ruins my LoRs, especially one of my referees is well-known in the field I am applying to.
I understand that there is not much I can do now,

But how bad can it do if one considers applications to top-tiers, given that my other aspects such as GPA, PGRE and research experience are good?

Should I mention this in my SoP and explain that I was unaware of this issue?

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:46 am

cedricyu803 wrote:But how bad can it do if one considers applications to top-tiers, given that my other aspects such as GPA, PGRE and research experience are good?

Should I mention this in my SoP and explain that I was unaware of this issue?


Generally, I don't think it's a good idea to spend any time writing about anything unless you can put a good spin on it. I wouldn't waste space explaining this "mishap" when you can use all that space to show how awesome you are.

-Riley

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby admissionprof » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:27 pm

cedricyu803 wrote:Hi all

I am an international undergrad,
applying to Physics PhD programs of some US universities, including some top- and some mid-ranked ones.

When I chose the option whether to waive right to access the LoRs, I was unaware of the impact it may pose. So I chose no.

Two of my referees have already submitted their LoRs. So it is unlikely it can be changed.

Now I know this option can affect the confidentiality of the letters and give adcom bad impression.

I fear that it ruins my LoRs, especially one of my referees is well-known in the field I am applying to.
I understand that there is not much I can do now,

But how bad can it do if one considers applications to top-tiers, given that my other aspects such as GPA, PGRE and research experience are good?

Should I mention this in my SoP and explain that I was unaware of this issue?


Yes, it can definitely hurt - your letters won't be taken very seriously. Simple solution. Send a letter (snail mail) to each place saying that you mistakenly checked the no box. Then add a statement waiving your right to see your letters. Make sure it is dated (so the date will be after the original non-waiver). That should alleviate any concerns.

cedricyu803
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby cedricyu803 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:04 pm

Yes, it can definitely hurt - your letters won't be taken very seriously. Simple solution. Send a letter (snail mail) to each place saying that you mistakenly checked the no box. Then add a statement waiving your right to see your letters. Make sure it is dated (so the date will be after the original non-waiver). That should alleviate any concerns.


Thanks for the replies of WhoaNonstop and admissionprof. :)

I have sent emails to the admissions to see whether it can be changed.

You suggestion of adding a statement waiving your right to see your letters may be good. (Maybe I'll put it together with my SOP when submitting) But I wonder if the adcomm will think that my original option (not waiving) may have already caused my referees to write the LoRs "more carefully", hence making them less trustworthy.

Nonetheless I will state in the statement that my referees do not mind that and this option does not affect how they write their letters.

Hope it solve the problem :(

Thanks again

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:32 pm

admissionprof wrote:Simple solution. Send a letter (snail mail) to each place saying that you mistakenly checked the no box.


Yep, agreed, but I wouldn't actually put it in your SOP!

-Riley

cedricyu803
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby cedricyu803 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:30 pm

now UCB ad office changed the waiver of the unsubmitted lor only, keeping the other two submitted unchanged.
seems that i need a line in sop to explain this odd thing...
what do you think?
Thz

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby TakeruK » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:51 pm

I think you should do what admissionprof suggested -- write a letter directly to the department to put in your file. If the application allows you to attach extra PDFs, perhaps you should also attach it here (in addition to mailing them the letter snail mail).

cedricyu803
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Re: Did not waive right to access the LoRs. How bad can it do?

Postby cedricyu803 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 am

Now I have changed waiver of letter from the referee not having started.

And I think I will include a declaration to waive the right of the remaining two, with my signature
and the referees co-signing on it (I don't think only my words will convince the adcomm),
and also state that "My referees did not require the waiver and they clearly asserted that this option would not affect how they wrote the letters. I also maintain that I have not seen the letters."

then upload it to the supplementary document page/ put it in the first page of my CV/ email to the office directly.

(I guess a scanned signed declaration should be enough coz many universities don't accept paper documents.
+I guess my referees will feel annoyed having to sign many same statements)

Hope it solves the problem (though I am sure my applications have gotten noticed in the bad way...)

Thanks for your suggestions :D




Return to “Letters of Recommendation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest