To Waive or Not to Waive

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)

How does reading your LOR's effect admissions?

Negatively
15
79%
No Effect
4
21%
 
Total votes: 19

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XxMVPxX
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To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:27 pm

I just wanted to quickly get the general consensus on here about whether you guys think it will effect your admission to schools if you choose to look at your letters of recommendation and not waive your right. I've heard some differing opinions and want to see what you all think.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:23 pm

Also, I've seen people on here discussing their LORs and saying things like "I have one really strong LOR." Obviously this means they read it and waived their right, does this now mean they have hurt themselves when applying?

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JoeMo
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby JoeMo » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:25 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:Also, I've seen people on here discussing their LORs and saying things like "I have one really strong LOR." Obviously this means they read it and waived their right, does this now mean they have hurt themselves when applying?


Not necessarily, some people might have a "go to" professor that they go to whenever they need a LOR and they might know that their LOR's are always strong.

Most of the law schools that have this very question on their FAQ pages caution against it. The assumption is that if you choose to see them you might be afraid they'll disclose something you don't want them to know.

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:26 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:Also, I've seen people on here discussing their LORs and saying things like "I have one really strong LOR." Obviously this means they read it and waived their right, does this now mean they have hurt themselves when applying?


The FAQ explains what it means to "waive" your right to read it. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=131727

People say they have a strong LOR either because
1) Their relationship is so strong they just assume
2) Their letter-writer showed it to them, which is consistent with waiving.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Thanks for your responses, I won't be applying until next cycle but who exactly discloses whether you waived the right or not? Do you check a box on the sheet or does the teacher do it?

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:39 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:Thanks for your responses, I won't be applying until next cycle but who exactly discloses whether you waived the right or not? Do you check a box on the sheet or does the teacher do it?


Please read the FAQ. You waive a right by checking a box and signing.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:48 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
XxMVPxX wrote:Thanks for your responses, I won't be applying until next cycle but who exactly discloses whether you waived the right or not? Do you check a box on the sheet or does the teacher do it?


Please read the FAQ. You waive a right by checking a box and signing.


I just did, thanks for putting all that together. In theory, couldn't someone read their LOR and check the box? How would the schools they're applying to ever know?
Last edited by XxMVPxX on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:50 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
I just did, thanks for putting all that together. In theory, couldn't someone read their LOR and not check the box? How would the schools they're applying to ever know?


From the FAQ:
Q: My LOR writer showed me the letter--have I screwed up the waiver?
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, educational institutions are supposed to allow you to see recommendations that are part of your file after enrolling at the institution as a student. If you waive this right, you will waive your right to ask your institution to show you this letter.

This does not mean you cannot view the letter--it means you cannot view it because the university, rather than the letter writer, gave it to you post-enrollment. If the writer wants to share it with you, that's fine, and totally within the requirements of the waiver.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:55 pm

acrossthelake wrote:From the FAQ:

Q: My LOR writer showed me the letter--have I screwed up the waiver?
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, educational institutions are supposed to allow you to see recommendations that are part of your file after enrolling at the institution as a student. If you waive this right, you will waive your right to ask your institution to show you this letter.

This does not mean you cannot view the letter--it means you cannot view it because the university, rather than the letter writer, gave it to you post-enrollment. If the writer wants to share it with you, that's fine, and totally within the requirements of the waiver.


Yeah I saw that but the "This does not mean you cannot view the letter--it means you cannot view it" part kind of threw me off and I was just looking for further clarification.

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:02 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:From the FAQ:

Q: My LOR writer showed me the letter--have I screwed up the waiver?
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, educational institutions are supposed to allow you to see recommendations that are part of your file after enrolling at the institution as a student. If you waive this right, you will waive your right to ask your institution to show you this letter.

This does not mean you cannot view the letter--it means you cannot view it because the university, rather than the letter writer, gave it to you post-enrollment. If the writer wants to share it with you, that's fine, and totally within the requirements of the waiver.


Yeah I saw that but the "This does not mean you cannot view the letter--it means you cannot view it" part kind of threw me off and I was just looking for further clarification.


You can't have the university give it to you to view. That is all the waiver does.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby XxMVPxX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:08 pm

acrossthelake wrote:You can't have the university give it to you to view. That is all the waiver does.


Gotchya, so (just for the record) you can get a teacher to write you a LOR, ask the teacher to let you read it, and still check the sheet saying you waived your right?

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JoeMo
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby JoeMo » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:03 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:You can't have the university give it to you to view. That is all the waiver does.


Gotchya, so (just for the record) you can get a teacher to write you a LOR, ask the teacher to let you read it, and still check the sheet saying you waived your right?


NO! When you choose a recommender you give them a sheet, that sheet requires a signature. That signature tells them (the professor or employer) that you've waived your right to view this letter. THUS... you should not say "here's this so I look to the law school to be doing what they want me to do but can I see it anyway" The onus is on you to choose wisely and to only choose people that would write something favorable. The onus is also on you to give them a bit of your background, remind them of the grades you received in their class, talk to them about that one paper you wrote and how it showed your critical writing skills and provide them with your personal statement so that they can in turn write a complete and well thought out letter.

Any attempt to circumvent the system will result in you shooting yourself in the foot.

Stop to think, if you give a professor the waiver and then ask them to let you see the letter what's stopping them from then turning around and writing a scathing letter about your apparent lack of ethics and that being the letter they ultimately submit?

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dingbat
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:09 pm

Check the box.
It makes the LOR more trustworthy - the recommender can write honestly without having to worry about how you will percieve what was written.

If you do not check the box, the Law School will wonder why:
1) you don't trust your reviewer
2) what you have to hide

If your reviewer chooses to show you the LOR anyway, that is his/her prerogative.
I checked the box for both my LORs.
One recommender showed me the letter beforehand and asked for my input
The other recommender didn't discuss the letter with me at all, except to ask what my deadline was (I asked for it to please be sent by the end of August)

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:45 pm

JoeMo wrote:
XxMVPxX wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:You can't have the university give it to you to view. That is all the waiver does.


Gotchya, so (just for the record) you can get a teacher to write you a LOR, ask the teacher to let you read it, and still check the sheet saying you waived your right?


NO! When you choose a recommender you give them a sheet, that sheet requires a signature. That signature tells them (the professor or employer) that you've waived your right to view this letter. THUS... you should not say "here's this so I look to the law school to be doing what they want me to do but can I see it anyway" The onus is on you to choose wisely and to only choose people that would write something favorable. The onus is also on you to give them a bit of your background, remind them of the grades you received in their class, talk to them about that one paper you wrote and how it showed your critical writing skills and provide them with your personal statement so that they can in turn write a complete and well thought out letter.

Any attempt to circumvent the system will result in you shooting yourself in the foot.

Stop to think, if you give a professor the waiver and then ask them to let you see the letter what's stopping them from then turning around and writing a scathing letter about your apparent lack of ethics and that being the letter they ultimately submit?


I wouldn't recommend it, but it's not a circumvention of the system at all. When you sign the sheet, you're waiving your legal right to see the letter of recommendation after enrolling. Professors can show you or not show you, whatever, that's not what you're saying when you sign.

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JoeMo
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby JoeMo » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:10 am

acrossthelake wrote:I wouldn't recommend it, but it's not a circumvention of the system at all. When you sign the sheet, you're waiving your legal right to see the letter of recommendation after enrolling. Professors can show you or not show you, whatever, that's not what you're saying when you sign.


You're right. However, the purpose of you waiving your right to see it is so that the recommender can write freely without having to think about what you would think if you ever saw the letter. As someone else mentioned, the professor could then show you the letter anyway and you wouldn't be doing anything wrong but I do think that you ASKING to see the letter might be pushing the boundaries of the process a bit too far.

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acrossthelake
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:44 am

JoeMo wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I wouldn't recommend it, but it's not a circumvention of the system at all. When you sign the sheet, you're waiving your legal right to see the letter of recommendation after enrolling. Professors can show you or not show you, whatever, that's not what you're saying when you sign.


You're right. However, the purpose of you waiving your right to see it is so that the recommender can write freely without having to think about what you would think if you ever saw the letter. As someone else mentioned, the professor could then show you the letter anyway and you wouldn't be doing anything wrong but I do think that you ASKING to see the letter might be pushing the boundaries of the process a bit too far.


I mean, I think asking to see the letter is poor form even if there isn't a waiver to sign. I just see a common misconception on these boards that if your professor offers to show it to you that it's somehow rule-breaking.

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JoeMo
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby JoeMo » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:47 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
JoeMo wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I wouldn't recommend it, but it's not a circumvention of the system at all. When you sign the sheet, you're waiving your legal right to see the letter of recommendation after enrolling. Professors can show you or not show you, whatever, that's not what you're saying when you sign.


You're right. However, the purpose of you waiving your right to see it is so that the recommender can write freely without having to think about what you would think if you ever saw the letter. As someone else mentioned, the professor could then show you the letter anyway and you wouldn't be doing anything wrong but I do think that you ASKING to see the letter might be pushing the boundaries of the process a bit too far.


I mean, I think asking to see the letter is poor form even if there isn't a waiver to sign. I just see a common misconception on these boards that if your professor offers to show it to you that it's somehow rule-breaking.


Oh no, definitely not. If the professor offers to show you the letter I don't think you're doing anything wrong. I read OP's post as asking to see the letter despite signing the waiver. Personally, I only chose professors I knew would write good letters of recommendation. I feel like everywhere you go on tours or whatever you hear horror stories of kids that didn't seek out the right type of recommenders and then they get a letter that says "I don't even know why they would ask me" and it shows poor judgment. So you do have to be wise about who you choose but if you choose correctly you shouldn't have to see them because you should expect that they'll only write something nice.

r6_philly
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Re: To Waive or Not to Waive

Postby r6_philly » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:32 am

The only right your are waiving is the right to ask the university that receives the recommendation to give you access to the letter that it receives, a right that was granted by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

You are free to ask/demand/request to see the letter at your home institution regardless. But your professor has the right to not show it to you. Access to the letter at the receiving university is compulsory unless you waive it when you apply.




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