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Sometimes You Just Have to Roll With It

moyru

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Today is the deadline for Stanford. My app is in and I am just waiting on one LOR. I had asked my letter writer in November, and he agreed - he just asked me to send him reminders as the deadline approached.

Well, I've been doing that....every time I log on, though, it says 'has not started' next to his name. ;__________;

I'm hoping that I'll get an email at midnight or something letting me know it got in...just like another of my LORs did for the TIE program.

Another one of my LOR writers submitted a letter and then sent me a copy of it after. It was an amazing letter - only my name was spelled wrong all throughout.

At this point all I can really do is shake my head and accept it.



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Two things.

 

1) I know the feeling. I had a professor that I reminded periodically, and after sending several emails that day I had to track her down, and ask her to submit the letter in person an hour before the deadline. She was like, "oh, I forgot..." I could not believe a professor would conduct herself like this. Completely shocked. Though, I knew she already finished the letter for another application a week prior. Though, ultimately things worked out for the submission...still waiting for results.

 

2) It's best to waive your right to view your LOR's. Schools raise an eyebrow if a student doesn't waive this right since it could affect the objectivity of the letter. Just a suggestion if you have applications in the future. (Unless that is you waived your right, and your teacher still sent a copy.)

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I've been told by programs and professors alike that there is a bit of wiggle room for LORs to be received. The deadlines are for all of your submitted materials but schools know that professors might be a few days late and shouldn't hold it against you since it is ultimately our of your control. Even after the deadline, there is still a week or two of processing that occurs before the adcom looks at your application. If it is an organized program, they might email you if they still haven't received your letter by the time they process it to be sent to the adcom. If at that point it still hasn't been received it probably won't be marked as complete or ready for review. My point being: You've probably still got a couple of days. I don't think they'll throw out your application just because a LOR wasn't received until tomorrow or the next day.

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Yes, it's not at ALL out of the ordinary that LORS are late. I had one that was almost 2 weeks late this year, and another professor said it was totally normal. Don't worry - they have wiggle room. (Though I do know very well how painful it is to wait on them!!)

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Two things.

 

1) I know the feeling. I had a professor that I reminded periodically, and after sending several emails that day I had to track her down, and ask her to submit the letter in person an hour before the deadline. She was like, "oh, I forgot..." I could not believe a professor would conduct herself like this. Completely shocked. Though, I knew she already finished the letter for another application a week prior. Though, ultimately things worked out for the submission...still waiting for results.

 

2) It's best to waive your right to view your LOR's. Schools raise an eyebrow if a student doesn't waive this right since it could affect the objectivity of the letter. Just a suggestion if you have applications in the future. (Unless that is you waived your right, and your teacher still sent a copy.)

Yeah, I waived my right to all my LORs.

Now it's the day after, and the LOR is still not in....I have to send that awkward email saying please get it in ASAP. >_>

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I've been told by programs and professors alike that there is a bit of wiggle room for LORs to be received. The deadlines are for all of your submitted materials but schools know that professors might be a few days late and shouldn't hold it against you since it is ultimately our of your control. Even after the deadline, there is still a week or two of processing that occurs before the adcom looks at your application. If it is an organized program, they might email you if they still haven't received your letter by the time they process it to be sent to the adcom. If at that point it still hasn't been received it probably won't be marked as complete or ready for review. My point being: You've probably still got a couple of days. I don't think they'll throw out your application just because a LOR wasn't received until tomorrow or the next day.

Thanks! This makes me feel better!

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Yep -- as mentioned, there is leniency for late letters. The official submission deadline is really for the students, and professors know that they can be even 1-2 weeks late and all that matters is that the letter arrives before the files begin to be reviewed. It is extremely nerve wracking, but still it's good to know. Your application will not be discarded because one letter is late. 

 

(But I'd still try and get the prof to submit the letter sooner rather than later, to protect my sanity, and would use all kinds of measures to achieve this, including stalking them after class or in the hallway, or scheduling an appointment and then having them submit the letter while I sit and wait in their office :P.)

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

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Has he responded to your reminders?

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Has he responded to your reminders?

No. =(

I'm worried now. Maybe something happened. I haven't heard at all from him.

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I've been told by programs and professors alike that there is a bit of wiggle room for LORs to be received. The deadlines are for all of your submitted materials but schools know that professors might be a few days late and shouldn't hold it against you since it is ultimately our of your control. Even after the deadline, there is still a week or two of processing that occurs before the adcom looks at your application. If it is an organized program, they might email you if they still haven't received your letter by the time they process it to be sent to the adcom. If at that point it still hasn't been received it probably won't be marked as complete or ready for review. My point being: You've probably still got a couple of days. I don't think they'll throw out your application just because a LOR wasn't received until tomorrow or the next day.

 

This. Two of my letter writers submitted all of my LORs after application deadlines, with the exception of one deadline. That's right: all of them except one. In fact, one of those letter writers did not even begin to upload responses until one and a half weeks after most of my December deadlines. While it was horrible to wait, I knew that the reason they had little inclination to be on-time was that late letters are quite typical. 

 

Programs face a hefty amount of processing, and it is highly unlikely that an application will be suitably compiled for review immediately after the deadline. This means that items may trickle in afterward, without significant issues. For several of these programs, I received a polite e-mail denoting the exact items that were missing from my application. Some even expressed a hard deadline for receiving those materials (which happened to be two weeks after the deadline).

 

Should you receive a formal e-mail from a program notifying you of a late letter, forward it to your writer. However, e-mails are so easy to ignore. Within a reasonable amount of time (e.g. enough to allow for him to act on the previous message of the e-mail request, which may be a several business days), call him. As a cover, you can easily just say that you were worried that something may have happened, and were simply checking-in. 

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I had a bunch of deadlines on Dec 15, but one of my recommenders didn't get his letter sent in until Jan 10. I don't think it affected my application much (I'm getting accepted to programs where the letter was almost a month late) The recommender's secretary said that as a rule of thumb professors get like an extra month to submit letters. I know its stressful cause I was totally there a month ago, but I also know from experience that you'll be just fine. Good luck! (also bring the recommender a thank you gift, it will remind him what he is supposed to be doing)

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