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teacher recommendation right to view waiver?

christian1206christian1206 Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
edited November 2008 in College Admissions
when i ask my teachers for recommendations should i waive my right to view their letters? if i do what difference would it make it i don't?
Post edited by christian1206 on

Replies to: teacher recommendation right to view waiver?

  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    You should. If you don't waive it, it means that if you ask the colleges receiveing those letters to let you review them they must let you.

    To waive that right basically means you give the teacher license to speak honestly, without concern that you will be reviewing their letters of recommendation. It is a gesture of confidence in what teachers have to say about you, and a way to respect their privacy in writing the letter they feel inclined to write.

    Some teachers will let you read what they write anyway. Some prefer not to. It's not something you should ask, but let them just do it the way they are most comfortable with.
  • phadephade Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    I don't think it matters. Pick teachers who like you and are going to write good things and they won't have a problem with it. I didn't waive mine.
  • thirdfloorthirdfloor Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    I think it definitely matters. I knew teachers who wouldn't write them if the right to view them wasn't waved. The only way a college can appreciate a letter of recommendation as an honest and unpressured analysis of a candidate is if the waiver is signed. Not only is it important for the college, but if you're asking a teacher to write multiple recs, the least you can do is sign a waiver as a gesture of faith in their abilities.
  • phadephade Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    How big of a deal is this? Neither of my teachers care, they both really like me and showed me the recommendations on their own. At this point it would be pretty inconvenient to redo it and not waive my right...
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    I wouldn't bother to re-do it. It's just if someone is just starting out the process and wonders which they ought to do, probably the best choice is to waive it. On the other hand, not something to worry about if you did it differently. JMO.
  • phadephade Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    I'm paranoid as **** so I won't be able to sleep until I redo this :( .
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,824 Super Moderator
    When you waive your rights, you are simply waiving your rights to inspect any letters of recommendation contained in the applicant file of the school you ultimately decide to attend (what you are waiving is your rights to go to go to the admissions office at the college you are attending and demanding to see your recommendation letters in their files) .

    Waiving your rights does not prohibit you from seeing drafts or final copies of your recommendation letters should your recommenders want to share them with you. If your teacher is willing to share them with you, you can see them (but they are not obligated to let you see them).
  • hellojanhellojan Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    I think waiving your right to view these documents is almost an essential part of the process. Here's a couple of reasons:

    1. It demonstrates a confidence that you have in your academic work and professional relationship with your professor. Your professor will respect the opportunity to approach the rec this way. That'll likely come across in the rec letter itself.

    2. That same confidence is conveyed to the institution. They'll see a student who isn't paranoid/afraid of an honest appraisal. An honest, genuine, confidential rec from a professor probably goes a lot further than the type that has been proofread and examined by the student (and by a student who demands future access).
  • christian1206christian1206 Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    bumping thread
  • tnb19tnb19 Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    just waive it, one of my teachers flat out said that he has never written a rec without it being waived in 20 years.
  • ZetesisZetesis Registered User Posts: 1,855 Senior Member
    I write a lot of recommendations for students going on to graduate school. In all my years of doing this, I can only remember one student not waiving her rights to see her letters. I have no idea if she ever went to see them. We simply expect that students will sign the waiver, because that's what they almost all do.

    I've always thought of students waiving their rights as a formality; there was a time when it was assumed all references were private; now we have to make sure that the student agrees that they remain so. I doubt whether the schools who see the recommendations really care one way or the other.

    If your teachers have already written the recommendations, and showed them to you, I don't see what the worry is.
  • tocollegetocollege Registered User Posts: 786 Member
    If you do not feel comfortable waiving your right to see the letters, then you need to rethink your choice of recommenders. Only choose someone you have no doubt will have great things to say about you. Then waive your right to see them to show the colleges how confident you are. (As mentioned above, many teachers will show you anyway because they want you to see the great things they wrote.)
  • fhgfhg Registered User Posts: 1,376 Senior Member
    A few of my teachers said they won't right recommendations for people who don't waive their right to see it. One of them said she often shows kids the recommendation anyway, but signing off demonstrates your confidence in them. A teacher generally isn't going to write a bad rec (often they'll tell you if they don't have anything good to say), it's a waste of their time, and from what mine have told me, it means a lot to them to have a student sign off.

    Plus, it supposedly raises a red flag to colleges if you don't because it means you lack confidence either in yourself or your teacher...
  • benandjerrysbenandjerrys Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    I think a thread like this had appeared before. I'll say what I said then.

    I did not waive my rights to view my recommendations. I currently attend college and have never once asked to see them. I have no desire to look and I never have (I hate knowing what others think of me). I just don't believe in waiving my rights to anything. Honestly, at the time, I didn't even understand why someone would waive their rights. If for some reason I do need to see them in the future, I can. I was accepted to 9 out of the 11 schools that I applied to. The two I was rejected from were my toughest reach schools, so I didn't expect to be accepted anyway. I don't really know if signing off on the waiver was what rejected me, but I do know that it wasn't enough to keep me from acceptance at the other 9 schools. I doubt that schools really care enough about such a small portion of the application (though I would be interested to hear from someone who works in college admissions) for it to really make a difference.
  • ksen5654ksen5654 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I thought students had no right to view recco letters! in my high school we're not allowed to know what they write about us
This discussion has been closed.