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So you want to go to grad school?
Future grad students of the world unite!
19th-Nov-2012 03:54 pm
fierce mask
My cousin told me about this service the other day, it's supposed to make it easier to send letters of recommendation and not bother your references too much.

Has anyone else used it? What do you think of it?

My fear is that my references wouldn't be receptive to me telling them to upload their letter of reference to Interfolio, that and all letters will be non-tailored ones.
19th-Nov-2012 09:16 am (UTC)
i would recommend using the technique that your target schools want you to use. these will, no doubt, each be different in subtle and annoying ways.
19th-Nov-2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
I successfully used Interfolio for my MA applications. Your LOR writers upload their letters to the service and you upload all your supporting documentation. Interfolio then sends everything as one big packet.

My only complaint is that it can get a little spendy, but I think the convenience (I didn't have to trek down to the post office in the middle of winter) was worth it. I realized too late that I hadn't asked my professors to fill out the little evaluation form for each of the schools that I was applying for, but that didn't seem to negatively impact the outcomes. Perhaps it would be different had I been applying to more competitive PhD programs.
19th-Nov-2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
I use it, and it's very convenient to an certain extent. It keeps everything in one place and gets it there in a packet in whatever format you need, including overnight if you have to.

However, you are going to find that you will be filling out (for jobs, anyway) HR applications for every single university, and uploading documents to their sites anyway. But the Interfolio will still be useful when they don't have a space for something, because HR doesn't understand your discipline.
19th-Nov-2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
I think it's very field dependent. Nobody uses Interfolio in my field, but in some fields it's absolutely the norm. I would maybe discuss the option with someone you trust - maybe a more informal mentor rather than a committee member - and see what they think.
20th-Nov-2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Almost every school I applied to had their own online system for uploading LORs. Most of them used a pretty standard engine that the professors were used to using. For the ones that didn't, I just provided a prepaid and addressed envelope for them to mail. All of the other supporting documents were required to be uploaded on the application, or asked for it to be mailed in. I could do that myself.

Interfolio apparently charges you for every LOR they send out, and it's not cheap. They send it regular mail, too. They offer to send some electronically (you have to pay for that as well!) , but in the end its more cost and time efficient to use the school's method. Some schools do not accept interfolio at all.

I did end up using it, though, to store generic LORs. That way, if I did not get in to school last year, I wouldn't have to buy my professors to go through the process again for me. My professors also wanted to be able to write unique letters for each school, as the application asked different questions or they had some knowledge of the programs and how I would fit with them.
20th-Nov-2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks everyone.

I'm going to talk with some of my professors and ask them if they're comfortable using Interfolio since these are the ones that are usually the hardest to pin down. I'll ask the schools too if they accept submissions via the service
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