Letters of Evaluation

Georgia Tech Letters of Evaluation Service

The Georgia Tech Letters of Evaluation (LOE) service is a letter packet compilation service for pre-health students and alumni. Pre-health advisors do not write letters of evaluation or committee letters. Instead, evaluators send their letters to Pre-Health Advising, and we disseminate the letters as a packet to health professional schools or application services (i.e. AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, TMDSAS, and/or AACPMAS) once an applicant makes a formal upload request. 

AdviseStream LOE management tool is now ready to use at http://gatech.advisestream.com. Students and alumni who are planning to apply this summer for the 2020 cycle should proceed to login and start the letter of evaluation (LOE) process.  Please review this document (Adobe PDF file) before you reach out to us with questions. 

The AdviseStream advising tool provides a portal where we will manage LOEs and the creation of the students’ letter packets.  This portal allows students to designate letter writers who will upload letters directly to an online interface.  Students may use the interface to monitor their letters and request upload to application services (AMCAS, AACOMAS, ADSAS, etc.). SEE UPLOAD REQUEST STEPS BELOW

Again, remember that we are launching only the LOE portion of the software right now, so please limit your correspondence to questions about that process. Direct questions to our LOE coordinator at pre-health@provost.gatech.edu.

Alumni will need to submit this form here to be added to AdviseStream.

To ensure that we can process all letters for a timely review by admissions committees, we ask that letter writers adhere to our May 28 deadline.


IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES:

December 17            “Preparing to Apply” Webinar (get tips from Francisco Castelan in the comfort of your own home!)

January 2                   Georgia Tech Pre-Health Advising begins accepting LOEs through the AdviseStream interface

May 1                          Deadline for students to complete the “Intent to Apply” on AdviseStream

May 28                        Deadline for LOEs submitted to GT Pre-Health Advising via AdviseStream

June 3                         Students may begin requesting uploads of completed letter packets through AdviseStream

December 2, 2019     Deadline for upload requests (except for Post-Bacc and Caribbean schools)


Below are a few reminders that ALL CURRENT APPLICANTS SHOULD REVIEW:

  • Begin identifying your letter writers and gather information to share with them.  It is a good idea to approach letter writers in person and to assemble materials to remind them about your work with them and your interest in a health career.  These materials will probably include your resume, the classwork or research you completed for your recommender, your personal statement, and a list of details about your relationship with the letter-writer (relevant dates, contributions to group work or research, personal interactions, etc.).  You can share these materials with your recommenders in person or through the AdviseStream interface.  Give your recommenders as much time as possible, ideally 6-8 weeks, to prepare their letters.  
  • Familiarize yourself with the application process. The AAMC web site is a treasure trove of valuable information related to the MCAT and the entire path to medical school.  Other professional organizations also have great resources for future dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, and physician assistants
  • Register for the MCAT.  You should plan to take the MCAT no later than May to complete your application in the month of June.  Want to take your MCAT later than June?  Schedule an appointment with your pre-health advisor to discuss the pros and cons of delaying this critical component of your application.  If you have not yet registered for the MCAT, be sure to look into the Fee Assistance Program, which can save you a bundle on the test and related application expenses.
  • You must indicate your “Intent to Apply” on AdviseStream by May 1.  Students who do not meet this deadline will be ineligible for the Georgia Tech Letter of Evaluation (LOE) service.
  • It is in your best interest to use the Georgia Tech LOE service.  We provide a cover document that attests to the legitimacy of your letters, explains the rigor at Georgia Tech, and offers to clarify elements of your application if necessary.  Professional schools may question a decision to bypass our LOE service.
  • Evaluators’ letters are due to Pre-Health Advising (through AdviseStream) by May 28.  Please remind your letter-writers that this is a firm deadline.
  • Please search for your letter-writer in the AdviseStream interface before you “add an evaluator.”  You may slow the process if you try to enter new information for an existing evaluator.
  • Direct all questions about the LOE service to our LOE Coordinator, Ms. Monique Morris at pre-health@provost.gatech.edu.  Ms. Morris is the AdviseStream expert, and she communicates directly with AdviseStream to resolve technical issues.  Reaching out to pre-health advisors may delay or complicate this process.
  • The AMCAS application portal typically opens early in the first week of May. 
  • The AACOMAS application typically opens early in the first week of May.
  • The AADSAS application typically opens early in the second week of May.
  • Students should submit their best applications during the month of June.  Because professional schools have rolling admissions, applications submitted early in the process fare better than those submitted later.  If you cannot complete your application, including standardized testing, during the month of June, please schedule an appointment with a pre-health advisor to determine your best course of action.
  • Schedule an appointment, drop by, or give us a call!  Your pre-health advisors are available to help you.  The best way to get information from us is in person.  We find that even apparently simply questions require a lot of back-and-forth discussion that is more easily accomplished in speech.  If you cannot find an appointment on GradesFirst during this busy season, plan to come to drop-in hours, MWF 8:30-9:30 and TR 3:30-4:30.  We will accommodate phone call drop-ins, too.  Just call our reception desk at 404-894-2550 during drop-in hours, tell the receptionist that you'd like to be added to the Pre-Health drop-in queue, and leave your contact information.  We'll call or skype you back when it's your turn.

UPLOAD REQUEST STEPS

You can request an upload request starting on June 3.

Before beginning the Upload Request process on AdviseStream, please complete the following steps:

  • Send your transcipts to the application services (AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, etc.)
  • Confirm that all letters to be included in your Letter Packet must are marked as “arrived" or "submitted” on AdviseStream
  • Upload a PDF copy of your submitted application on AdviseStream (the front of the PDF will indicate "submitted")
  • (for AMCAS only) Upload a copy of your Letter Request Form to AdviseStream

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there instructions that I can send to my recommenders that explains what they need to do to submit their letters?

A: When you request a letter through AdviseStream, the system auto-generates an email to recommenders with specific instructions, and a PDF that explains the interface. 

Q: I logged into AdviseStream and added access to pre-health. I still do not see the "intent to apply" option.

A: Expect a lag time before that access appears on your dashboard.If after 24 hours, the intent to apply does not show up on your profile, please contact us at pre-health@provost.gatech.edu

Q: I sent off a request for a recommendation letter but it was declined because the email address was not one from an institution. What does this mean?

A: Since we have to comply with the waiver of rights of letters, our office reviews external LOE writers to confirm the email corresponds to the professional letter writer.  Please provide a workplace email,  not a gmail or yahoo account for a recommender as this will simplify the verification process.

Q: Does the LOE office support the ACCOMAS application service for letter packets?

A: We do support the DO application (AACOMAS) by uploading your packet to the centralized application.

Q: I put in an email of a doctor I shadowed and AdviseStream says the email address needs to be verified by Georgia Tech before my letter writer can submit their recommendation. What does that mean?

A: We verify that all letters are authentic and that they come from the person that you have listed. If an official work email for the individual is used, then they tend to get approved more quickly.

Q: I tried to use the AdviseStream login with my gatech account, but it stated that I have to create an AdviseStream account. To create an account, the site says I need a token given by an advisor. Do I have to receive a token to make the account?

A: No you do not need a token to create an account. You will need to submit this form to set up your AdviseStream account. You will be notified via email directly from AdviseStream to complete your acct. Please expect up to 5 business days for your account to be activated.

Q: I already had multiple letters submitted before graduation, but one letter writer may not update their letter, after I confirm this to be true do I need to tell you so that the updated letters are submitted as if they are new?

A: Each letter writer will be given an opportunity to either upload a new letter (if you have pursued/requested an updated letter) or given the option to decline uploading a letter if you are planning to use the old letter. It is your responsibility to notify the LOE coordinator at (pre-helath@provost.gatech.edu) which letters you expect to be updated.

Q: If I am applying to veterinary schools through VMCAS, which is not supported by AdviseStream, do I still need to request LOE through AdviseStream or I just do it through VMCAS?

A: VMCAS capabilities do not match our letter packet system and will require students enter their letter writers and have those recommenders submit letters individually.

Q: One evaluator has his institution email forwarded to his gmail account, but he cannot send anything from his institution email account. Would that still work? The request would be sent through the institution account. I just would like to ensure that he does not need to be able to send from the institution account.

A: Once we have verified the work email, your LOE writer should be able to submit their letter. A link is sent to their work email and if that is forwarded, then they should have access to the link.

Q: Why have my letter writers not been approved on AdviseStream?

A: Check to make sure you finished your letter request.  If you have not requested the letter from your letter writer, your recommender will not be moved to the “to be reviewed” list in AdviseStream.

Q:  Do I need to complete my profile to reflect all relevant information or is that not something that is important since my medical school applications will contain all of education, biographical background etc? 

A: Your AdviseStream profile will allow you to track your activities but is not required as a part of your collection of Letters of Recommendation.

Q:  In the previous system of submitting letters, I had to also give each letter writer an LOE form to complete and sign as well as I sign to waiver my right to look at the letter- is that now built into the system? 

A:  LOE forms are no longer needed, FERPA waivers and evaluator ratings are now built into AdviseStream

Q: Is the sending of helpful materials a tool that only becomes available once I actually request a letter of evaluation?

A: Yes, once you have submitted an evaluator request and it has been verified (approved) by our office, the evaluator will received an email notification which will include evaluator instruction and guidelines.

Q: If my professors upload Letter of recommendations to AdviseStream, will they be uploaded to my on-line application on June 3 or does it take longer to process?

A: Students can begin requesting a letter packet upload June 3.  We will beginning processing requests then, in the order in which they were received.  We expect no more than a two-week turn-around for letter uploads once students have submitted an upload request.

Q: Do I have to ask my professors to print them on letterhead, scan them, and sign them or does AdviseStream take care of the formatting? 

 A: Letters should be dated, signed, and presented on letterhead.  AdviseStream will remind letter-writers of these details, but the letter-writers should plan to submit a PDF that should have already included these items in their letter.

Q: If I have evaluators that are not through Georgia Tech, can they upload to AdviseStream after May 28 if I don't plan to submit my application until later?

A: All letter-writers must submit letters through AdviseStream by May 28.  You can add non-GT letter-writers to the AdviseStream system (see directions in the previous emails), but please remember to use an institutional email address for the letter-writer, so the verification process will not be delayed If letter-writers are unable to submit a letter by the May 28 deadline, you may list them as a separate letter-writer on the application portal, and their letter may be submitted separately, outside the Georgia Tech letter packet.

Q: Do I route my transcript through AdviseStream?

A:  No, order your official transcript directly from the Registrar's Office, and have it sent to your application service, using the appropriate "transcript request form" if necessary.


FERPA

When handling student records,  GT Pre-health Advising adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). More information can be found here: http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/policies/ferpa/.