LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

Postby ignatiusr » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:04 am

I know my problem isn't particularly original, but I haven't been able to find a specific answer to my question in the archives. I planned on applying to HYS and several t14 schools in the third or fourth week of September, but one of my recommenders is holding up the process. I first e-mailed him in July, met with him in August, and sent him my PS a month ago, but it's still not written. I sent a polite follow-up e-mail last month, to which he replied with a brief, somewhat rude message stating that the letter would be ready "when I have written it" and that he was sorry he couldn't be any more precise than that. It's been dead silence for the last three weeks.

I am uncertain about how I should handle the coming month, assuming I don't receive the letter this week. Obviously I don't want to further annoy my professor, given that I want him to write a positive letter, but I'm also becoming anxious about my timeline. I've seen some people say that apps submitted before Thanksgiving are in good shape, and others suggest they should be submitted before Halloween. If I can't get this final LOR processed prior to Halloween, could it significantly affect my admissions chances? I think I'm probably going to be on the border between acceptance and waitlist/rejection at HYS, so I don't want to do anything that could tip the scales. Would it be crazy for me to wait until next cycle if I see that I can't get my apps submitted until November?
Last edited by ignatiusr on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

Postby TommyK » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:12 am

Is there anybody else that can write one? I would completely discount this LOR writer, absent of any additional compelling context for his curt response.

Seriously - anybody else. Your instincts are correct that you shouldn't continue to bother him.

Edit: November is not crazy late. If you can get an application out that you're happy with by that time, you shouldn't notice a negative effect of a late application.

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Re: LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

Postby ignatiusr » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:47 am

There really isn't anyone else, especially at such a late date. I should also add that this is a professor whom I expect(ed) to write my best letter. I excelled in his class, after which he became my adviser for the rest of my undergrad career, at his request. He is also a Yale alum, and now vice provost of the university--meaning that he's very busy, not that his schedule justifies the rudeness of the e-mail. He mentioned multiple times in the past that he would be happy to write the letter, and we had a very positive discussion about it when I met with him. I'm surprised by the way it's played out, but I still don't believe he intends to flake out completely. I just can't be certain that he'll finish it this month.
Last edited by ignatiusr on Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

Postby 094320 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:30 pm


bp shinners
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Re: LOR Anxiety- Guidance Needed

Postby bp shinners » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:07 pm

Getting another letter in a timely manner will help you more than waiting an undisclosed amount of time for this letter (at most schools - not so much at Yale). You say that there's no one else to write you a letter, but I can't believe that, as there's got to be a few other professors in whose classes you excelled if you're looking to apply to HYS. It doesn't have to be great, it just has to get the job done. Start the process with someone else, and if the first guy's letter shows up, all the better.

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