When it’s the teacher who’s tardy, colleges won’t penalize the student … at least to a point. If your daughter’s references haven’t arrived at Dickinson by the December 1 deadline, your daughter need not worry. But if she’ll see her teachers tomorrow morning, before the Thanksgiving vacation, she should use the opportunity to rattle their cages so that they can get cracking on these overdue letters as soon as they’ve digested their turkey. Over the break, your daughter can then send a follow-up email to each as an added reminder. If the letters haven’t been sent by December 3rd, she should also send a note to the regional admissions rep at Dickinson and explain that she’s done all the nudging that she can muster and that the recommendations should be on the way.
It can take up to a couple weeks for colleges to process the avalanche of materials that arrive right on deadline, so that will buy your daughter some time to harangue her teachers until they submit their recommendations.