Should I Waive Rights to See My References?

Question: As I was filling out college applications, I came to a box that asked me whether or not I want to waive my right to access my application. I want my interviewers and recommenders to be honest when assessing me, but if I get rejected, I would also like to see my file to find out why. What kind of impact would not waiving my rights have on my admissions chances?

This issue comes up fairly often as more and more students want access to their files. Frankly, sometimes busy admission officials don't even notice which application box a student checks. Nonetheless, I suggest that you waive your rights anyway. That way, it will encourage recommenders to be forthright, and those admission officials who ARE observant won't wonder if your advocates are being less than candid.

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