Jump to content

Kicking Myself -- Probably a Record for Late LOR

Recommended Posts

Two months. TWO. MONTHS.

Now that it's over, I can't believe I let it go on so long!

I asked Prof. X in September for LORs, the first one due on Dec. 1. He immediately accepted, saying he'd be able to write me a very strong letter. That was really important to me because, even though my school isn't a top one, he's pretty prominent in the field I'm applying in, and I'd had him in two grad-level classes that went wonderfully. I was able to be polite but diligent about reminding him every few weeks, since I have a work-study job in the department. (I was also able to get my boss, the secretary, to keep an eye on his progress.)

As the date got closer, he never gave a hint that he would be late, but the letter never appeared. A couple of days before it was due, I emailed the grad director at the school I applied to and she assured me that it was normal and that they would accept the letter when it arrived. She didn't give a time frame beyond which it would be absurd, and I trusted my prof to know the rules since he's been department head here and elsewhere forever and has been through this -- from both sides -- many times before.

Finally, he did the letter this week but wasn't able to upload it to the online system. The secretary and I scrambled to find a solution, and finally managed to get it in. The online application system showed the submission, and I was so relieved to have it over with that it's taken a few days for me to realize -- wtf!

It was a great letter (I ended up having to see it in the scramble to get it out) -- unequivocal and sincere and enthusiastic. But it turns out that at least some acceptances from the missed-deadline school went out a week ago, and I can only assume that I didn't make it. Now, this could well have had nothing to do with the late letter, but even if they didn't toss my application for being incomplete, the letter certainly would have helped! Luckily, he was only a week late getting it in at my other school, so that app is safe. (I made sure of that!)

Sorry to go on for so long, but I really, really needed to vent. I feel so dumb! I made so many rookie mistakes this first round of applications, but that was the absolute worst. Sigh...at least the letter will be ready for next year if it comes to that.

Anyone have a similar horror story? Or know of a letter that came in later?

Edited by FilmStudiesGeek
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

It's a bad situation that you ended up. That is obvious from what you have said. What I question is your assumption that being able to read your LOR's (aka waiving your right to read them or not) would have really helped. This looks more like a cautionary tale of having a backup fourth LOR just in case a situation like this should happen, if possible.

In a case like this, with professors, like students, bad thing happen at the worst times, that they can't get around. It sounds like your professor meant well, but was not able to follow through, and it negatively impacted you. The best situation would have been if you could have had a forth person to look to, in order to give that professor an easy out. But since you didn't and the prof knew you depended on him tried to the best of his ability (which apparently at that point in time not great, and not thinking about the possibility of helping you find someone else to do it) and in the process doing you more disservice then help.

I say this with the fact that he did not give you any indication that he could not give you a good rec. For that you should have a pass. Unfortunately that is not how it generally how it works from what I can tell with ad comms. They tend to see it to some degree the applicants ability to be ontop of everything, including LOR's, which are the most uncontrolable aspect of the application process, as your experience shows. I even at this point have to accept the out come of one application because one of my LOR's didn't finish one of the assignments. I have to accept the fact (in the mind of ad comms) that I was on top enough and started early enough to make sure that these people had enough time to finish everything on time, taking in account that anything and everything can (and probably will) go wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too just had a professor miss a deadline for submitting a LOR. She had written the letter months in advance and had submitted it to several schools prior to this incident. I emailed her a week beforehand and she simply forgot. Then she tried to remedy the situation by calling the admissions office and I've yet to hear what they told her. I'm left waiting in limbo while I watch other people receive admission decisions into UCL. I feel for you, it's a difficult situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.