LoRs from early in undergraduate

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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roflmaozedong
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:56 pm

LoRs from early in undergraduate

Postby roflmaozedong » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:31 am

Hi all, applying in the fall and hoping for HYS. I have two profs whose classes I took fall of freshman year and I have used them for LoRs ever since with relative success (accepted for scholarship, internship applications, etc.). My question is if it's bad that both my recommenders come from so early in my undergraduate career? Should I also get a third prof whose seminar I took last semester?

bbsg
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:07 am

Re: LoRs from early in undergraduate

Postby bbsg » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:39 am

(not an expert, but..)

I'd be concerned with Yale. They make very clear that LoR's are an integral part of their application procedure and they read them closely. I wouldn't be surprised if it made no difference at Harvard, but I'd be quite surprised if Yale didn't notice/care. Unless you're rocking a 3.95 and a 178 (numbers pulled out of nowhere, to be fair, but you get the idea) I feel like having two first year professors might send up something of a red flag.

The quality is still the most important part. A more recent prof writing you a 8.5/10 letter might be better than your first year prof writing you a 9/10 letter, but if your early profs are writing you 10/10 letters (as it sounds) that's still better than some contrived 5/10 sort of letter from your third year prof.

If you've kept in contact with your early professors, which it sounds like you've done, just ask them to try to write the letter about *you* in an academically holistic sense rather than about the class you took with them. "roflmaozedong was an excellent student in 2009!" might not be very helpful, but "roflmaozedong was an excellent student in my class and I've witnessed his/her intellectual development over these past years and he/she regularly demonstrates he/she's a flippin' genius" sort of stuff.




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