[Question] Will updates to your application actually have an affect if the 1st reader already recommends a rejection?

So in the process of admissions for most T20s, I know that applicants will get recommended a yes, no, or maybe score from their first reader before their case is presented to a committee. However, if you get a really notable award, additional LOR, some other update, or make an important correction to your app after the initial reader has already reviewed it, how will that change your chances? (Although there aren’t many cases, there are a few awards or changes that could drastically improve your chances.) If your application has already received a preliminary “no” from your first reader, I’m assuming the update won’t even be seen, or it may only be seen in the final committee room when it’s too late. Will it still be considered?

It may move a maybe to a yes. Unlikely to move a hard no to a yes IMO

I know it’s not easy but try not to overthink! And make sure there are several schools that you love.


This depends on exactly what additional information is provided. The most important factors in the admissions process are grades, course rigor and test scores. Presumably there won’t be surprising new data in these areas.

An applicant has already provided LoRs, ECs, etc., so anything new would first raise the “why wasn’t this in the application” question. A new award or accomplishment would be looked at, but it would seem it’s likely part of a previous activity. An IMO medal seems to be unlikely with previous AMO/MOP/etc. on the application, for example.

What “few awards or changes that could drastically improve your chances.” are you thinking of?