Missing recommendation

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transfer in trouble
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:58 am

Missing recommendation

Postby transfer in trouble » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:27 pm

While I have another account, I'm posting on this new one because I don't want people to know what school I go to. I hope the mods understand.

At the beginning of June, I approached a prof about writing a transfer recommendation. She said she could have it by the end of the month, and said I should work the details of sending it with her assistant. I'm at a lower T1 (40-50), top 15%, secondary journal. I applied to a couple of lower/mid T14s; I know my chances were slim, but there was one school in particular that I really wanted, and I figured that a jump smaller than to those schools just didn't seem worth it.

Towards the end of June, I contacted the prof and the assistant to ask about the status of the recommendation. The assistant explained that the prof was dealing with a personal emergency (and one where a delay in sending the rec is quite understandable), but said that the rec would be sent out by the end of that week. That'd put me a couple of days after July 1, but, while the schools preferred July 1, their deadlines were technically later. A week or so later, the schools let me know that my application was still incomplete. LSAC had not processed the recommendation by that point, and LSAC said that they never received it. One school then said that I had a couple of days before my application would be dismissed. I asked if they could send the rec directly to the schools, but never got a response in time before the school dinged my app as incomplete. The other school then inquired about the recommendation; I emailed again to let them know not to worry about the first school because they rejected me, but asked if they could send to the second school. The assistant then responded, apologized, and said promised to get it sorted out with the career office. (I don't know what that office had to do with my application, and I'm not thrilled about more people knowing about my transfer application when it doesn't look like I'll be leaving.) A couple of days later (at the beginning of this week), I asked for an update, and was told that the professor was still out of the office, not responding to emails, and that I should contact another professor for a recommendation, and that I can contact the office of student affairs if I have any questions.

So, I'm pretty frustrated, not least because of how much money I just wasted on applications. This other school is still holding onto my application. (I'd love to get into this school, even though, even if my application had been complete earlier, my chances would still be slim. FWIW, I'm really proud of the PS I wrote for them, and I think I had great reasons to transfer to their school.) Should I just make the admissions officials' lives easier and tell them they can disregard my application, or should I hope for a miracle and see if the professor ever responds? I don't feel comfortable approaching other professors for recs as they'd have next to no time to write anything, and because I'd rather not have more people knowing that I attempted to transfer. But is there anything I can do at this point? Staying at my school isn't terrible to me(and, when I started my apps, I was perfectly happy with that possibility assuming I couldn't break into a T14), but, given this situation, I wish I had considered applying to non-T14s that only required one recommendation.


tl;dr: My second recommendation still isn't in, even though I had been told a couple of times that it would be in by now, and the prof is MIA. One school dinged my application, another's still waiting. Should I tell the other school to disregard my app or should I hold out for a miracle? Is there anything else I can do?

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Missing recommendation

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:53 pm

transfer in trouble wrote:While I have another account, I'm posting on this new one because I don't want people to know what school I go to. I hope the mods understand.

Normally you're supposed to ask beforehand, but as long as you PM me from your primary account, I'll consider it approved.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. At this point it sounds to me like you're stuck where you are. Hopefully someone else can help you out.

crazyblink653
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: Missing recommendation

Postby crazyblink653 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:57 pm

wow. you are pretty late to the game...i'm surprised the one school is even still considering reviewing application as by this point in the cycle most decisions have already been made. if you really want this school and would consider going if you got in, here's what i would do:

first, i would contact the school that still has your application and remind them about the situation. Explain that you are going to seek out another professor to write your recommendation and have it sent ASAP, and that you hope they'll still consider your application. reiterate that you really want to go to the school; if they think you would actually attend if admitted, they'll probably be more likely to sympathize with your situation. i would also ask if you could have the rec sent directly, as opposed to through LSAC.

Second, i would reach out to another professor with whom you had a bond or did really well in their class, explain the situation to them (tactfully, of course, as you don't want to come off as disparaging one of their colleagues), and ask if there's anyway they can write you a LOR. apologize profusely for the short notice, but if the professor isn't a total ass, he/she should sympathize with your situation and be willing to help. plus professor's generally aren't as busy this time of year. this should be done in person if at all possible. it will (a) save you the anxiety of waiting for an email response and (b) it will be more difficult for the prof to dismiss you if you're actually sitting there in front of them.

Also, I would try to ignore the "not wanting people to know you're applying to transfer" thing. i worried about this, too, until i realized it's very common for top students to transfer and that many professors and admins consider dealing with it as just another part of their job.

if that doesn't work out, i'm not sure there's much else you can do.

best of luck.

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odiero
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:49 am

Re: Missing recommendation

Postby odiero » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:41 pm

crazyblink653 wrote:first, i would contact the school that still has your application and remind them about the situation. Explain that you are going to seek out another professor to write your recommendation and have it sent ASAP, and that you hope they'll still consider your application. reiterate that you really want to go to the school; if they think you would actually attend if admitted, they'll probably be more likely to sympathize with your situation. i would also ask if you could have the rec sent directly, as opposed to through LSAC.

Second, i would reach out to another professor with whom you had a bond or did really well in their class, explain the situation to them (tactfully, of course, as you don't want to come off as disparaging one of their colleagues), and ask if there's anyway they can write you a LOR. apologize profusely for the short notice, but if the professor isn't a total ass, he/she should sympathize with your situation and be willing to help. plus professor's generally aren't as busy this time of year. this should be done in person if at all possible. it will (a) save you the anxiety of waiting for an email response and (b) it will be more difficult for the prof to dismiss you if you're actually sitting there in front of them.


This. I'd just emphasize that the prof could probably get the letter out that day or the next, if she really wants to help.

I had a similar thing happen to me this cycle. No fun.

Barry_Zuckercorn
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:29 pm

Re: Missing recommendation

Postby Barry_Zuckercorn » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:09 pm

sorry to hear about the terrible situation.

although i have no advice for you, hopefully future transfers see this as good reason to seek those LOR's early... even if you are just floating the idea around, it doesn't hurt to ask for a letter early - like, right after your Fall grades come out (assuming you did well and made connections with your professors), while you are still fresh in their heads.

Which was good advice in my case since one of my professors didn't get around to writing it (despite a few polite reminders on my part) until the end of May.

transfer in trouble
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:58 am

Re: Missing recommendation

Postby transfer in trouble » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Barry_Zuckercorn wrote:sorry to hear about the terrible situation.

although i have no advice for you, hopefully future transfers see this as good reason to seek those LOR's early... even if you are just floating the idea around, it doesn't hurt to ask for a letter early - like, right after your Fall grades come out (assuming you did well and made connections with your professors), while you are still fresh in their heads.

Which was good advice in my case since one of my professors didn't get around to writing it (despite a few polite reminders on my part) until the end of May.



I agree wholeheartedly, but this professor was backup after another one, after saying that they'd write me a rec, decided they didn't have time. Talking to this prof, I felt giving it June to July was cutting it a bit close, but it was either that or not even pursuing a second recommendation at all.




crazyblink653 wrote:wow. you are pretty late to the game...i'm surprised the one school is even still considering reviewing application as by this point in the cycle most decisions have already been made. if you really want this school and would consider going if you got in, here's what i would do:

first, i would contact the school that still has your application and remind them about the situation. Explain that you are going to seek out another professor to write your recommendation and have it sent ASAP, and that you hope they'll still consider your application. reiterate that you really want to go to the school; if they think you would actually attend if admitted, they'll probably be more likely to sympathize with your situation. i would also ask if you could have the rec sent directly, as opposed to through LSAC.

Second, i would reach out to another professor with whom you had a bond or did really well in their class, explain the situation to them (tactfully, of course, as you don't want to come off as disparaging one of their colleagues), and ask if there's anyway they can write you a LOR. apologize profusely for the short notice, but if the professor isn't a total ass, he/she should sympathize with your situation and be willing to help. plus professor's generally aren't as busy this time of year. this should be done in person if at all possible. it will (a) save you the anxiety of waiting for an email response and (b) it will be more difficult for the prof to dismiss you if you're actually sitting there in front of them.

Also, I would try to ignore the "not wanting people to know you're applying to transfer" thing. i worried about this, too, until i realized it's very common for top students to transfer and that many professors and admins consider dealing with it as just another part of their job.

if that doesn't work out, i'm not sure there's much else you can do.

best of luck.


Given how many people are transferring out of my class this year, I think you might be right about the stigma not really being there. If I've already thrown this much into the application, I should give it a try.




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