Know how to receive, submit letters of reference
Students should start planning the letter of recommendation (LOR) collection process well in advance of the application deadline.
In the last column, while discussing EducationUSA’s Third Step (Complete Your Application) for Masters Applications at US Universities, we focused on the role and importance of Letters of Recommendation (LOR), with who to look for these letters, and the number of letters generally. required by American universities.
We will continue the discussion today and talk about the process a student should go through to receive and submit LORs. As with other aspects of an American university application, students should begin planning the LOR collection process well in advance of their application deadline. It is especially important to give references a reasonable amount of time to write a good letter.
When approaching academic or professional contacts for reference letters, the student should share instructions with the reference of the institution where they are applying. In addition, it is important that references are up to date on the student’s most recent profile, including any projects they have pursued, internships or work experience, and their intention to apply to the program. master’s degree and at the selected university. Therefore, the student must also share with the reference his curriculum vitae as well as a copy of his draft personal statement that he intends to submit with his application.
The process for submitting LORs to US institutions is completely digital. Once the student begins completing their online application, in the letters of recommendation section, they will be asked to provide the name and email address of their reference (s). Once this information is submitted by the student, an automated message is sent through the university’s application portal to the referrals email account with a link to download the referral letter. The reference can either write the letter online in the link provided or download it as an attachment. Students should be sure to notify their references after submitting their details in the online application and also send a thank you note once the reference has downloaded the recommendations.
In rare cases, an institution may request hard copies of letters of recommendation from students. In such cases, the student should have the referral print their recommendation on letterhead, seal it in an envelope, sign across the flap and give it to the student. The student can then mail this letter to the address provided by the US institution along with other application documents.
Finally, by completing the section on reference letters, the student will generally be asked about the confidentiality aspect of letters. LORs are meant to be confidential, so students should generally waive the right to read the letter.
Next week, we’ll discuss another aspect of U.S. universities’ applications for master’s programs.
Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Advisor to the United States-India Educational Foundation based at the United States Consulate General in Hyderabad)
Questions and answers:
Q. My son is currently in 2nd year of B.Tech program here in India. Is he eligible to transfer to an American university?
– Sridhar Reddy
A. While many students begin their undergraduate (bachelor’s) programs in the United States at the freshman (1st year) level, some students may choose to move from one institution to another. This can be from an institution in the student’s home country to an American institution or from a U.S. institution to another.
A student must meet certain eligibility criteria for the transfer process. If a student is currently enrolled in an Indian institution and interested in transferring to a US college / university, they must have completed at least two years or four semesters of study at the current institution. In addition, the student must have reached a certain level of academic performance set by the institution (measured by GPA or grades). Students should check the specific transfer requirements, eligibility criteria, and credit transfer policies of the institution they wish to transfer to to ensure their transition goes smoothly.
Q. What is the difference between public and private universities in the United States?
A. State colleges and universities, also known as public universities, are founded and subsidized by US state governments to provide low-cost education to residents of that state. These universities tend to be very large and generally admit a wider range of students than private universities. Tuition fees at public universities are generally lower than those at private universities. International students, as well as those from other U.S. states, are considered out-of-state residents and therefore pay higher tuition fees than residents of the state in which the institution is located (although tuition fees generally remain lower than at private universities).
Private colleges and universities are funded by a combination of endowments, donations from alumni, research grants, and tuition fees. Tuition fees tend to be higher than state universities, but no distinction is made between state residents and non-residents. Private universities are generally smaller, some may have religious affiliations, and some are single-sex schools.
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