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fp3690
02-19-2008, 02:53 AM
Do you know of any places that only require 2 instead of 3 LORs? I know some business schools do, and was wondering why. I figure that applying to programs that need only 2 LORs can increase the number of applications, since it will require less application from each recommender.

israelecon
02-19-2008, 02:56 AM
generally recommenders don't miind how many schools you apply to. Anyway, its mostly online so they write your recommendation once and then just cut and paste. i asked one of my recommenders about this and he basically said, yes its a bit inconvenient but another 5 schools is only about another 15 minutes for him.

115th dream
02-19-2008, 03:01 AM
Do you know of any places that only require 2 instead of 3 LORs?

Virginia, Northwestern, and LSE

Ecorleone
02-19-2008, 03:20 AM
There are some programs that in fact do require only 2 LOR, but if I were you… I would try to submit 3. Ask the Admission office if it is possible. Usually different professors will know different qualities of you, and the adcom will benefit from getting to know you better.

AstralTraveller
02-19-2008, 03:38 AM
I sent three to four recommendations for each program. Even to those who needed only two (Chicago GSB come to mind).

At NYU Stern I sent four academic references (asking the admissions assistant beforehand if there'd be any inconvenient about it) instead of the 2 academic LORs (mandatory) + 1 professional LOR (optional).

At some places they requiered 2 letters, requesting not to send more than 3. At other places, the only bound was the lower one (no less than 3). As long as you have enough people who can say different good things about you (i.e., one professor with whom you did really well, another to whom you TA'd, another to whom you RA'd, etc.), additional letters would not hurt.

My letters came from: a professor who is the graduate and research director of my alma mater, and with whom I did very well on his class; 2) a professor with whom I excelled as student, and to whom I RA'd and TA'd for three years; 3) a professor with whom I excelled as a student on three different courses, and to whom I TA'd; 4) a local professor to whom I RA'd at the school I currently work at, and with whom I co-authored a paper, and 5) a visiting professor from the US for whom I have RA'd up to this day. As you can see, all of them can give a different picture of me, so I asked them to recommend me at different institutions depending on the profile of the program. I am really confident of the positive content of all letters.

Time to wait.... :wacko: what a huge lack of patience I have developed :blush:

Ecorleone
02-19-2008, 03:46 AM
AstralTraveller, I totally agree with how you have conducted your applications.

Olm
02-19-2008, 05:02 AM
I sent 4 LORs to some schools simply in case one of the LORs didn't get there in time (some were online applications where you could only put in 3 people max, i.e. the exact number of LORs they wanted).

Ecorleone
02-19-2008, 05:13 AM
Like all the application process... you need to be strategic!!
Your better recommenders have to submit online, and this "extra something" has to be send through mail.
Remember that doing this will never reduce your chances of being admitted, but it certainly can increase them. (my very personal and humble opinion)

buckykatt
02-19-2008, 03:32 PM
I've noticed several that asked for two as a minimum, but IIRC all of those allowed three or four as a maximum.

Most students probably do not have three professors who know them well enough to write an insightful recommendation letter for an econ program. The adcom probably wants to minimize their time spent reading letters that don't say much more than "X excelled in my intermediate micro class and earned an A. He seems like a really nice guy."

I sent four letters to the master's programs I applied to this round: two letters from econ profs from my grad work a decade ago and two letters from math profs with whom I've taken classes in the past two years. I hope to replace those letters from math profs with letters that speak glowingly of more current econ work for next year. But my case is pretty unusual, and I suspect that two good letters is plenty for more typical applicants.

buckykatt
02-19-2008, 03:42 PM
Remember that doing this will never reduce your chances of being admitted, but it certainly can increase them. (my very personal and humble opinion)

I don't necessarily agree. If each of your 3-4 letter writers has something unique to discuss (e.g. a paper you wrote, RA work, etc.) then each letter certainly adds something. But remember that an adcom's resources are limited and there's an opportunity cost to each letter they read. So I would ask myself whether the time spent reading an extra letter could more profitably (for you and your chances of admission) be spent reading something else, e.g. a research paper you included. And I'd always choose to send n strong letters rather than n strong letters plus 1 just-OK letter.

IMHO, the best overall approach would be to recruit as large a pool of letter writers as feasible and then choose strategically which letters to send to each school.

Ecorleone
02-19-2008, 03:48 PM
ok... but once again... everything depends!

Ecorleone
02-19-2008, 03:52 PM
[/quote]... the best overall approach would be to recruit as large a pool of letter writers as feasible and then choose strategically which letters to send to each school.[/quote]

The only problem with this approach is that is very difficult for a large pool of professors to know you that well. In my case finding 4 that, both knew me well enough and that I was absolutely sure that I would be highly recommended was not an easy job.

buckykatt
02-19-2008, 04:35 PM
Of course it depends--we're economists! ;)

I agree: finding four good letter writers might not be feasible for most people. Three might even be challenging. But consider even a case like this: you have two strong letters and two letters that are positive but from profs who don't know you well. You can still choose strategically between the two weaker letters for those programs that require three letters. E.g. maybe one of those profs is a graduate of the program in question, has co-authored with a prof there, publishes in an appropriate field, etc.

Maximize, Maximize, Maximize!