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Duke University
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Sending recommendation letters after the deadline?

Here's my situation: my teacher is running late with my recommendation letter, and I'm worried it won't reach the colleges before the application deadline. Will they still consider my application if the letter arrives a bit late, or will it be disregarded? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

6 months ago

In many cases, colleges are generally understanding when it comes to recommendation letters arriving shortly after the deadline. Admissions offices know that teachers and counselors are busy, and delays can occur. Here's what you can do to ensure the best possible outcome:

1. Contact the admissions office: Reach out to the admissions offices of the colleges you're applying to and explain the situation. They may provide you with a grace period for receiving the recommendation letter, or they may have a specific policy regarding late materials. Every college has slightly different policies, so it's best to get information directly from them.

2. Communicate with your teacher: Send a polite reminder to your teacher about the upcoming deadline and ask for an update on the letter's progress. Offer any assistance or additional information they may need to complete the letter in a timely manner.

3. Submit the rest of your application on time: Ensure that you submit all other parts of your application before the deadline. This shows the colleges that you're responsible and organized, making the late recommendation letter more of an exception.

4. Have a backup plan: If you're extremely concerned about the late letter, consider asking another teacher or mentor if they would be willing to write a backup recommendation letter for you. While not ideal, having an alternative in place can provide some peace of mind.

Remember, in most cases, colleges are lenient with recommendation letters submitted shortly after the application deadline. As long as you communicate with the admissions offices and your teacher, your application should still be considered. Good luck!

6 months ago

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