Admissions

Impact of Late Teacher Recommendations?

Question: Do letters of recommendation have to come in before the application deadline? I am very VERY dangerously close to the deadlines and 2 of my teachers haven’t sent in their letters of recommendation. Is that a problem?

Not a problem. Colleges are accustomed to teachers who dawdle. Just don’t let them dawdle for too long!

In addition, it’s up to you to make sure that everything reaches your colleges safely. Wait about two weeks and then phone each college to see if your application is complete (unless the college has already notified you that it is or has provided a Web portal where you can check yourself).


If you call colleges and are told that your application is NOT complete, don’t have a heart attack. It can sometimes be several weeks before the onslaught of incoming mail is processed. Just take a deep breath and ask what follow-up steps are required. Often it’s just a matter of waiting a few more days. And then, if some materials are still missing, you will be allowed to replace them without penalty, as long as you do so immediately.

So, meanwhile, enjoy your holiday and don’t stress over the fact that your recommendations may not arrive right on the deadline. But be sure to thank all the teachers who wrote on your behalf and then tell them how you made out with your college verdicts in the spring.