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Will my flaky professor ruin my chances of getting in because they are late on sending in their LOR?


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I have asked three of my previous professors to provide LORs for me. All three gave me an enthusiastic yes, but the one seems to be dragging his feet. I've sent him reminders when they are due, called hiim the day before to remind him, etc. He said that schools are usually pretty lenient with LOR being in by the actual due date, so he doesn't seem to be in too much of a rush to meet my deadlines. It's been an issue with the first 3 of 10 schools I am applying to, and I have a feeling it's going to come down to my begging him to send it in each time! So this is my question-- is he right? Am I stressing for no reason? All of my other materials are in except his LOR, will they still review my application or will this be held against me? I can't control others actions, and this is making an already stressful process even more stressful!!

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I know exactly how you are feeling. So far, one of my LORs has only missed one due date despite many e-mail reminders. He said the same as your LOR writer. I called the department and asked them if this would be a problem and they sounded pretty relaxed about it. They said as long as everything on my part is in on time and the LOR is submitted before the AdComm meets, then it will be fine. The schools understand that we can't control when the LORs get in. So I'm hoping that more schools will be as relaxed about it. I would give the schools/departments that you are applying to a call to ask them if this is an issue. I know how stressful it is and I was panicking before i talked to the department! But I figure this professor has likely done this many times and knows what he is doing (hopefully!).

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Yeah, schools are usually pretty forgiving for letter deadlines (fellowships are not though!!!). Unfortunately this doesn't mean you can completely relax, you don't want to risk him straight up forgetting to submit any letters. It's pretty dumb that he doesn't just submit them all at once though.

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I'm so glad you all posted here! I have ONE professor that has yet to submit my letters although two of my app deadlines have already passed. I've sent reminders (as well as requests from the remaining 5 schools on my list) and he emailed last Sunday that he was working on them and not to worry about the "deadlines." He's a big name and has been doing this for a while so I guess I trust him, but I've never had such a huge knot in my neck from stressing over it!

I'm considering adding an additional LOR on the schools that only require 2 just in case I have a meltdown over continuing to bug him as the other later deadlines close in. (I feel you greenbeans!)

Thank you, Herbie for letting us know what the dept said when you called the school. The stress is dialed down just a bit now.... :wacko:

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Yes, the professor is right. You should not forget about it entirely, but if you have submitted everything and there are other letters in, and it's just his letter is still not there when the committee meets, they may well contact him directly (particularly if they are interested in the other aspects of your application). This happened when I applied to the Ph.D. program where I ended up going, and it's also the practice in my current department.

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Thanks for posting this, I'm freaking out right now, because one of my professor has not submitted any letters (12 schools) and the first due date is tomorrow...I tried everything I could to remind him. Should I keep sending him emails? I don't want to spam his inbox or piss him off...

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I am having the same problem with one of my LOR writers. She agreed to write it, actually submitted one of five. She then proceeded to miss 2 deadlines and completely stopped answering my emails. I've sent her several reminders. I'm now actually making up excuses for her--like the fact that my alma mater is currently on term break--to calm myself. Nothing is helping, I'm at my wit's end! This is my third and final attempt at graduate school admission, and she's sabotaging it! Your posts have helped me cool down a bit though, thanks :) Still debating calling the department...*sigh*

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Okay, contrary to what everyone is saying, call the schools. All of them. While MOST are lenient as people said above, I know some are NOT lenient at all. Check with the program just to be sure.

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I am having the same problem with one of my LOR writers. She agreed to write it, actually submitted one of five. She then proceeded to miss 2 deadlines and completely stopped answering my emails. I've sent her several reminders. I'm now actually making up excuses for her--like the fact that my alma mater is currently on term break--to calm myself. Nothing is helping, I'm at my wit's end! This is my third and final attempt at graduate school admission, and she's sabotaging it! Your posts have helped me cool down a bit though, thanks :) Still debating calling the department...*sigh*

I would advise against "calling the department". One, the last thing you want is to annoy your LOR writers. Constant email reminders, IMO, are not helpful unless your professor actually encourages it. I do not know what type of relationship you have with your LOR, but I would really give her the benefit of the doubt. If it's really a problem, you should meet with them in person.

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