Letter of Recommendation Timing

This post serves as an update to Post #2 of our top 10 application tips series which addressed questions related to letters of recommendation.  We are working on posting more tips in the series soon, so stay tuned for more . . .

Question:  Should I wait to submit my application until all of the letters of recommendation have been received?  Or put another way, should I be concerned that when I submit my application a letter of recommendation has not been received?

Answer: No.  Applicants should not be concerned if an application is submitted before a letter or letters of recommendation have been received.  What ultimately matters is that both your application and the letters are submitted by the deadline of January 5th, 2011 at midnight EST.

Your application information exists in one system, and recommendation letter information exists in a separate system.  The two systems are linked so when we print your application letters of recommendation will print at the same time.  This is of course if the letters were submitted via our system.  If a letter has been mailed, we will print your application and if all of the letters are not present, we will perform a search of documents mailed to our office.

So, do not worry if letters of recommendation have yet to be submitted when submitting your application, you may submit your application prior to letters of recommendation being received.  The important thing again is that the letters are either submitted via the online system by the deadline or received via mail by the deadline.