Acceptable Lead Time for Grad School Rec Letters?
November 11, 2011 9:48 AM Subscribe
Is it too late to ask for grad school recommendation letters due January 1?
After much indecision, I've decided that I'd like to apply to grad programs for next fall, and applications are due January 1. However, I'm quite worried that it would be rude and unreasonable to request recommendation letters in such a short turn around time.
I've been considering this the last several months and had pretty much decided to go for it last month, then found that my GRE scores had expired, and assumed I wouldn't have enough time to prep. However I've now realized that upon a closer look, the majority of the programs I am looking at merely "recommend" GRE scores (this would be for a public affairs degree, not academia), and it doesn't appear that omitting them would harm an otherwise strong application.
I'm 30 and this would be my second masters/new career, so I'm wincing at the thought of waiting another year to get started. I'm confident that everyone I'd ask would be happy to write me a letter, but also know that they are all busy people (especially academics this time of year), and I really don't want to offend them or appear disorganized. One thought I had is that I could offer to send them prepaid FexEx overnight envelopes so that the timeframe would be slightly expanded.
I'd love to hear opinions on whether this is a reasonable request, especially from people who often field similar requests for letters themselves. Thanks!