Committee letter

I still have 2 semesters of undergrad left and really didn’t have a legitimate reason not to use my school’s pre-med committee, so I’m using those channels to apply this cycle. But I was reading through some of the “fine print” today and discovered that they only guarantee they’ll submit our letter packets by the end of SEPTEMBER! They rank all the applicants (which total 94 just from my little school) and work on the packets in that order. Even though my sGPA is 3.9 and cGPA 4.0, my MCAT is subpar, so likely I’m toward the bottom of the list. If I had known this, I would have used this as my reason not to go through the committee, because as a non-trad I feel it’s even more important to apply early. My AMCAS is verified, I’m working on secondaries, and now I discover this.


So those of you applying in the next few cycles, this is something to specifically ask about. I researched this topic pretty well and this issue never surfaced. I guess you don’t know what you don’t know. But at least now all of you know.

  • Switzerland Said:
But I was reading through some of the "fine print" today and discovered that they only guarantee they'll submit our letter packets by the end of SEPTEMBER!



This would almost certainly be the kiss of death for med school applications based on schools with rolling admissions (most if not all). Adcoms won't even begin reviewing your application until they have all of your LORs whether that's a single committee letter or a bunch of individual letters. If they don't get that committee letter till late September, they won't start reviewing you till early October; you will be very far behind the 8-ball. Most med schools will have begun handing out acceptances and filling their classes by then. This not an enviable position to be in.

Is there any way to do an end run around the committee, say, by getting professors to send individual letters? You will, of course, have to explain in your secondaries why you did not use a committee letter, despite one being available. But I think this will have less of a detrimental effect than, say, having the review of your file delayed until early October.

I think at this point I’m too far in. AMCAS is already verified, indicating a committee letter; secondaries have been submitted. Wow, I’m just having a difficult time understanding how this is acceptable considering the way med school admissions work. I guess all I can do is hope they don’t save me for last.

How ‘sub-par’ are we talking about on your MCAT? Because 3.9/4.0 is impressive. (Side note: how do you have a 4.0 cum and 3.9 science? or are you just rounding a lot?)

Yes


what do you mean with subpar? The issue with the committee letter is the following (as I have learned from adcoms): if you have such channel through your school, you should use the committee letter, because not doing so will raise some eyebrows. However, I think you would have a very legitimate reason not to because of the deadline game.


So you really have to find how subpar your MCAT is, what that really means is not so much what is your score, but how many in your situation and school have better scores than you.


Even with that info, it seems to me that September is far to late to guarantee respectable chances, so in my opinion you should go and ask professors directly as I truly believe this is a compelling reasons to bypass the “expected” process of obtaining a committee letter. With your GPA, it should be too difficult to find professors willing to do that for you.



  • Switzerland Said:
that they only guarantee they'll submit our letter packets by the end of SEPTEMBER! They rank all the applicants (which total 94 just from my little school) and work on the packets in that order.



1 - Can you find out your rank? If you're #7 then you might not be in such a bad spot.

2 - Surely there are advisors and professors on the committee that you know, why not get in touch with them?

Don't just accept the paperwork fine print as the kiss of death - network, talk to people, act.

While it may *say* they rank people based on GPA and MCAT the realities of many schools don't match what they say. Someone who visits an office and makes a few polite calls may get a letter in time, versus the person who sits back and does nothing.


Ooops, sorry NightGod - science GPA 3.9, non-science 4.0, overall 3.92. MCAT 28 (8/10/10). I’m re-taking 7/6, and I’m betting they’ll wait until my second score is released before they decide where to place me in the ranking. By their policy, no one is told their ranking. They sent out a list of the MCAT scores for students in this cycle (no names, of course), and I fall smack in the middle of the list - quite a few high 30’s. But with 94 applicants, that puts 40 people ahead of me. Of course, I don’t know the GPAs that accompany these scores. The school is know for their sciences and so is flooded with smarties.


Pixie, normally I follow the policy “the squeaky wheel gets oiled.” However, they have covered their bases on this one because they implemented a no-nagging policy last cycle (apparently they had some particularly hyper pre-meds). Any questions about when your packet will be sent, and you lose all the money you’ve paid them along with all your letters.


I’ll just continue to work on my secondaries so all the other pieces are in place and hopefully get a better score next week. Yes, this is going to be a long year…

You have to pay for a committee letter. sheesh. Thank you God that my school doesn’t have one of these.

$200 for 12 schools, $10 for each additional. I don’t mind paying it, as long as my darn packets arrive in a timely fashion.

For $200 they should have had this done June 1. Sorry switz, I hope it works out.

I know my local school wants a committee letter, but they also make exceptions in some cases. The fact that I’m a post-bacc student means that I simply am not at the school long enough to get one together. The 30-hour minimum is alright, but they want you to actually apply for a committee letter two semesters before applying to med school. You have to provide many of the same faculty letters to the committee, and they also conduct rounds of interviews. Basically they aren’t getting one from me.

I am so glad my school does not have a committee letter. The student pool is too large and spread across four campuses so they simply cannot require it. The office just holds all letters until you tell them (and pay $20) to send it to AMCAS or however many schools you want. My letters were sent today.

  • desert_shawn Said:
I am so glad my school does not have a committee letter. The student pool is too large and spread across four campuses so they simply cannot require it. The office just holds all letters until you tell them (and pay $20) to send it to AMCAS or however many schools you want. My letters were sent today.



Yay ASU. I'm waiting on one last letter to come in...