Northwestern Recommendation Question

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
bball85
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Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby bball85 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:01 pm

For anyone who has applied or is applying to Northwestern, is it absolutely necessary to have recommenders complete that supplemental form? If so, is there a way to have them do it electronically to get it done more quickly? Both of my recommenders have already submitted their recommendations so this will be a huge pain in the ass at this point to ask them to complete this additional form even if it is electronically.

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:06 pm

There's a link that takes you to the survey monkey survey. I don't have it off hand, but could find it if you ask. PM to remind me if needed. It takes maybe 10 minutes, much of it is copy-paste-edit from original letter, assuming it focused on work experience. They don't want academic stuff.

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2011Cycle
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby 2011Cycle » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:06 pm

The attached link is the online version of the form.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPEForm

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:07 pm

And it's not really supplemental, as in don't do it in addition to the letter but rather instead of. They don't want regular letters (they'll accept them, but they don't want them).

AppsAbound
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby AppsAbound » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:15 pm

I don't know if this is the case this year, but when I applied last year the forms were not required for applicants submitting letters through LSAC, which was a huge relief for me, since my letters had been submitted several months earlier. Check the fine print or call so you don't have to hassle your recommenders unless absolutely necessary.

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:19 pm

--LinkRemoved--

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby CSCS Trainer » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:02 pm

mr_toad wrote:--LinkRemoved--


The information in this blog contradicts what it says on the Northwestern application. On the supplemental form it states, "Give this form, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the person recommending you. The recommender should insert the completed form AND the letter of recommendation into the envelope, seal it, sign it across the sealed flap to ensure confidentiality, and return it to you for mailing, unopened, to Northwestern at the above address."

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:09 pm

And here is where they say to disregard those instructions...

We realize there is, at this point, conflicting information on our website and in our instructions. We're working to correct these, however, in the meantime, please use the following as a guide for submitting a CPE:

Form or Letter - It is highly recommended that you submit the CPE in its original form and not in the form of a letter, which addresses the questions asked. Otherwise, we're drifting back to the generic letter of rec format.

How to Submit - It is again, highly recommended, that if you choose to submit a CPE, you do so through LSAC, as you would a typical letter of recommendation (you may NOT submit it electronically with your initial application). While we do state that you or your recommender may send it directly to our office in a sealed envelope, we prefer reception though LSAC as it is a paperless process. In addition, recommenders have the option of submitting the form online.

Okay, so, what if I still want to submit a Letter of Recommendation?

Understandably, we've been hearing this question a lot. The truth: you can pretty much submit whatever you want to us, but we prefer the CPE. However, if you have an awesome LOR and you feel your application just wouldn't be complete without it, then go ahead and send it. Though please be aware that we will NOT be holding applications as incomplete for either CPEs or LORs, as both are now optional components. Translation: build in time for submission, otherwise your application may be reviewed without it.

Still have questions?

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby CSCS Trainer » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:28 pm

mr_toad wrote:And here is where they say to disregard those instructions...

We realize there is, at this point, conflicting information on our website and in our instructions. We're working to correct these, however, in the meantime, please use the following as a guide for submitting a CPE:

Form or Letter - It is highly recommended that you submit the CPE in its original form and not in the form of a letter, which addresses the questions asked. Otherwise, we're drifting back to the generic letter of rec format.

How to Submit - It is again, highly recommended, that if you choose to submit a CPE, you do so through LSAC, as you would a typical letter of recommendation (you may NOT submit it electronically with your initial application). While we do state that you or your recommender may send it directly to our office in a sealed envelope, we prefer reception though LSAC as it is a paperless process. In addition, recommenders have the option of submitting the form online.

Okay, so, what if I still want to submit a Letter of Recommendation?

Understandably, we've been hearing this question a lot. The truth: you can pretty much submit whatever you want to us, but we prefer the CPE. However, if you have an awesome LOR and you feel your application just wouldn't be complete without it, then go ahead and send it. Though please be aware that we will NOT be holding applications as incomplete for either CPEs or LORs, as both are now optional components. Translation: build in time for submission, otherwise your application may be reviewed without it.

Still have questions?


They posted that blog on 9/10, but then on 9/17 posted this, "The CPE form is available as a pdf on our website, in an online format, and as a supplemental form via LSAC. However, the form cannot be submitted via LSAC in an electronic format; it must be printed, filled out, and sent in as you would a normal Letter of Recommendation. This is also the format we prefer to receive it in."

I mailed mine in along with the lor's - figured it would be better to follow directions as mentioned in another blog post on 10/15, "Many schools, including us, have specific lengths or formatting that is required and then we get to see just how well you follow instructions. "

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:02 pm

I'm not disagreeing with anything in your last post, CSCSm my post primarily served to show that the regular LOR was not required. I agree that mailing in is probably the best option. That said, it's kind of ridiculous for them to test us on our ability to follow directions when they keep changing them. But whatever, prepares us for real life, I suppose, with constantly changing bars. Whether or not you WANT to send in the LOR is totally up to you, but if you're really into following directions, I think they've made it pretty clear that they would rather have just the CPE.

Mail > Survey Monkey
only CEP > CEP + LOR

But all of above are acceptable. Hence the confusion, perhaps.

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby CSCS Trainer » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:37 pm

I wasn't trying to disagree w/mr_toad, just pointing out the different information posted by Northwestern themselves on different dates. From my experience with both graduate school and real world job situations ( I've worked in management for 10+ years ), it can never hurt to follow the printed instructions on the application.

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nematoad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby nematoad » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:41 pm

I don't like this one bit.

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DearCan
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby DearCan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:42 pm

I called NU on this last month. They said that they PREFER for the recommender to fill out the online form. Their directions were definitely contradictory. Hopefully in light of this they won't hold it against us if we choose to opt out.

As for me, my longest employment was at a co-op and while my manager could give me a great recommendation they don't accept gmail, yahoo, or hotmail. That's all she has, so I'm not submitting.

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mr_toad
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby mr_toad » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:47 pm

CSCS, I disagree with myself sometimes, so no worries. What I don't like is that a group of what I assume are well-educated and somewhat intelligent people cannot come to a collective decision about what to do. I find it interesting that they prefer the online option (I guess that means Survey Monkey) as that contradicts (again) what the other material says. At this point, I just don't care. I don't think it's possible to know the definitive answer as to what they really want, so... just choose. I have chosen. Wisely? We shall see.

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby CSCS Trainer » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:50 pm

mr_toad wrote:CSCS, I disagree with myself sometimes, so no worries. What I don't like is that a group of what I assume are well-educated and somewhat intelligent people cannot come to a collective decision about what to do. I find it interesting that they prefer the online option (I guess that means Survey Monkey) as that contradicts (again) what the other material says. At this point, I just don't care. I don't think it's possible to know the definitive answer as to what they really want, so... just choose. I have chosen. Wisely? We shall see.


Agreed! :D

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Lwoods
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Re: Northwestern Recommendation Question

Postby Lwoods » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:02 pm

I don't think they'll care about the method this year as they're aware there is different information out there.

I do hope it helps, though, that a CPE was submitted for me. I can use all the help I can get! :)




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