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Evaluations (more than 3)


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Hey,

 

apparently you can add more than 3 letters to send out for this cycle (I heard the max was 3 before)

I have 4 letters that I might be able to send but my question is: is too many letters bad for you?  Whats the best number of letters to send out?

 

I have 4 strong letters (2 from surgeons, 1 from my academic professor, 1 from my OR charge nurse) but I don't want to hurt my chances by sending in too many (whatever too many means)

 

 

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Thinking about it logically, don't think there is much of a problem with "too many" people saying good things about you (though you shouldn't really know they're strong letters because they should be being sent from references, you should not have read - programs will have a problem with that), would send them all.

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Keep in mind CASPA added additional letters to avoid the conflicts applicants used to have when they had only 3, where PA program A required a PA, clinical supervisor, and professor and school B required a clinical supervisor, employer, and a professor. You don't want to use up the new extra slots and then find out you actually needed them to qualify for another school's rules later.

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You ONLY need to submit the number and type of evals your program(s) require. If you are applying to 12 programs and you have to have one from a PA, one from a MD, one from an advisor, one from a professor, and one from a supervisor, then you will need to submit five to fulfill the requirements of all your programs. If you are applying to 1 or 2 programs and can fulfill the requirements with three evals (or even two) then ONLY submit two or three evals. There is no benefit in submitting more letters than meets your programs' requirements. 

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  • 2 years later...
On 5/1/2015 at 3:08 PM, ddisilvestro said:

You ONLY need to submit the number and type of evals your program(s) require. If you are applying to 12 programs and you have to have one from a PA, one from a MD, one from an advisor, one from a professor, and one from a supervisor, then you will need to submit five to fulfill the requirements of all your programs. If you are applying to 1 or 2 programs and can fulfill the requirements with three evals (or even two) then ONLY submit two or three evals. There is no benefit in submitting more letters than meets your programs' requirements. 

but how do programs know which letters are targeted for their program you know? Wouldn't they just read all of them anyway?

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They know because the evaluator has to identify what their relationship is to you on the info they fill out. So if the school is asking for a supervisor or a PA, they can see that right in the evaluator's info, and they read that one. The vast majority of schools do not read the extraneous letters. They have hundreds of applicants and on average need to read 2-3 letters for each. They aren't going to volunteer to read more than that.

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2 hours ago, Allegro said:

They know because the evaluator has to identify what their relationship is to you on the info they fill out. So if the school is asking for a supervisor or a PA, they can see that right in the evaluator's info, and they read that one. The vast majority of schools do not read the extraneous letters. They have hundreds of applicants and on average need to read 2-3 letters for each. They aren't going to volunteer to read more than that.

I can see that but I'd still be interested in hearing from actual adcoms about it. You could have 4 letters, 2 from PAs, are they going to pick one arbitrarily to read? and what about the schools that don't have requirements about who writes your letters, which will they read?

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16 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I can see that but I'd still be interested in hearing from actual adcoms about it. You could have 4 letters, 2 from PAs, are they going to pick one arbitrarily to read? and what about the schools that don't have requirements about who writes your letters, which will they read?

I work directly with several adcoms (and note there are many members on this forum who are adcom members but do not say so). The response from Danielle above is an official one as you see from her tag she works for the PA Ed Association. If you want to solicit direct adcom advice you might try posting in the "Pre-PA General" forum as there is more traffic there from users who are public about being adcom members, however it sounds a bit as if you are looking for someone to tell you they read all the extra letters. There may certainly be some that do, but there are many who do not. It's the same reason there are tight restrictions on the length of essays; more does not equal better. If a school wants one letter from a PA, and you give them two, they are very likely just to read one of them and consider it done. As to which they would pick, it would likely be a random choice.

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Okay, I asked on this thread because I searched about extra LOR and this seemed to have to most relevant information. Danielle's response kinda addressed the perfect scenarios and so I was curious about what happens to extra letters. Realistically most people apply to way more than 2-3 schools and they all have different LOR requirements. I know I won't get it all here but I mentioned that it would be more informative to hear from members of a few different adcoms about what their specific school does. I wasn't looking for someone to tell me that they read them all I just want to know the truth, which you're telling me is that outside of specific requirements adcoms will most likely arbitrarily choose which letters to read. Fair enough.

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