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Letter Tracker FAQ

New to Letter Tracker?

  • Letter tracker is a service available to all BYU students applying to medical/dental schools and scholarships. This service allows you to obtain, store, and send your letters of recommendation to your applications! Letter tracker is not supported by PA, PT, OT, Nursing programs, etc.

  • Letter tracker is an additional service offered to BYU students. There are similar services (i.e. interfolio) that have a similar purpose. Letter Tracker was created to help make this process easier for you, but is not required to use.

    Many students choose to use letter tracker for a few reasons. The biggest benefit is your letters are reviewed by the letter secretary before they are sent to your application. Also, letters are stored in your account forever, and can be used for any medical or dental related fields for years after they have been requested. Lastly, it is free and easy to use.

  • STEP 1: REQUEST LETTERS

    • Create an account on the PPA website (ppalettertracker.byu.edu) using a BYU net ID.
    •  After logging in, click “request new letter.” Enter the necessary information for the letter writer and click “submit.”
    • Choose if you would like to waive your rights to view the letter. We encourage waiving this right as it provides a more honest evaluation and stronger consideration from schools.
    • Letters will be uploaded to your Letter Tracker account as they are submitted by your recommenders.
    • For more questions review the Student Letter Tracker tutorial on our website.
    STEP 2: EVALUATION SECTION ON YOUR APPLICATION

    These bullets may or may not apply to your application depending on the application service you use. Specific instructions will be given to you as you are requesting a packet on letter tracker.

    • Information you will need to enter;
      • Dr. David Kaiser
      • Prehealth Advisor
      • healthprosec@byu.edu
      • (801) 422-3044
      • Brigham Young University | WSC 3328 | Provo, UT 84602
    • Pick a “Due Date.” Regardless of the chosen date, the letter secretary will submit your packet in 3–5 business days.
    • Write a “Personal Message." (This will only be seen by the letter secretary)
    • Select “Permission to contact reference” and “permission for schools to contact reference.”
    • State the letter type as “HP(E) Committee Packet” or “Committee Letter” or "Letter Packet" and state the institution as “Brigham Young University.”
    • When you have completed the application portion, you will receive a letter ID. You will use this ID when completing your packet request in your Letter Tracker Account.
    STEP 3: REQUEST A PACKET

    • Log into Letter Tracker, click on the “Packets” tab, and then click “Request a packet.” Do no request a packet until all your letters are received.
    • On the following page, select the application services you want to send packets to and include the ID numbers from each application service.
    • Select the letters for the packet. Then submit the packet request.
      • Double check your request to be sure all letters and application IDs are correct. Your packet will be processed within 3-5 business days, you are responsible for making sure your letters have been uploaded into your application successfully.
    • MAY — Collect Letters. This includes asking and requesting letters of recommendation. You should begin to receive some letters.

      JUNE — Submit your application!! This should be submitted ASAP! Letters do not need to be uploaded to your application at the time of submission.

      JULY — Request letter packets. Once you have submitted your application and you have received all letters of recommendation on letter tracker, it is time to get your letter packets sent.

      AUGUST — Prepare for secondary applications. Schools will review your letters after you submit your secondary application. Be sure to have your letters in by this time.

      *This timeline is very general, and may not apply to your situation. Meet with an advisor to discuss specifics.

    Questions about Letter Tracker & Applications

    • Yes! As soon as your application is completed, submit it. The letters do not need to be completed yet. Letters will not be looked at until after your application has been verified and sent to the schools. This happens around the time of secondary applications.

      To complete the endorsement portion, you need to fill out the required information found below;

      AACOMAS and AADSAS

      Include this in your application under the letters of evaluation portion entitled "Evaluator's Information".
      Are you requesting a committee evaluation?: YES
      First Name: David
      Last Name: Kaiser
      Email: healthprosec@byu.edu
      Due Date: (any date)
      Personal Message to your Evaluator: (this is a note that only the Health Professions Secretary will see)

      AMCAS

      Include this in your application under the letters of evaluation portion entitled "Add Letter of Evaluation/Recommendation".
      Select: "Letter Packet"
      Select School: Brigham Young University
      First Name: David
      Last Name: Kaiser
      Address: 3328 WSC
      Country: United States
      State: Utah
      City: Provo
      Zip Code: 84602
      Phone: (801)422-3044
      Email: healthprosec@byu.edu

      TMDSAS

      Include this in your application under the letters of evaluation portion entitled "Letters of Evaluation"
      Indicate how you will submit your letters of evaluation: "HP Committee Packet"
      Select the institution your Health Professions Committee Packet will be sent from: Brigham Young University

    • Application services only allow us to send one packet, no matter if you are using Letter Tracker or another letter service. You cannot specify which letters go to which schools, all schools within the application service will receive the same packet of letters. That is why it is important to have all your letters in the packet that is sent.

      Sending schools a letter packet with more letters than allowed or sending additional letters not required is OK!!

      Schools will not review your letters until the time of secondary applications. Each school has their own system to deal with the additional letters being sent. On most secondary applications, there will be a section allowing you to specify which letters are meant for that specific school. The schools will be able to pull out the desired letters and send them off to admissions committees to be reviewed. Sending your letters as a packet is no advantage or disadvantage to you.

    • One. Please confirm that Letter Tracker has received all letters. And that all correct letters are requested in your packet.

    • Yes! Each application service allows you to submit additional letters. Additional letters will need to be requested by you directly from your application. Your letter writers will upload their letter directly onto your application (this letter will not be sent through your letter tracker account.)

      One of the perks of sending an additional letter directly to your application is that you will have the ability to specify which schools will receive that letter.

      Additional letters are often used for letters of recommendation not required by the majority of schools you are applying to (for example a clergy member/bishop.) They are also commonly used as a way to send additional letters on top of what was requested in your letter packet.

      HOW CAN I REQUEST ADDITIONAL LETTERS?

      AACOMAS: You can upload one letter packet (6 letters) through letter tracker and 2+ extra letters through AACOMAS
      1. Under evaluations section
      2. Are you requesting committee evaluation? check NO
      3. enter evaluators information
      4. Chose if you want to waive your rights (we recommend yes)
      5. Click save request

      AADSAS: AADSAS has the same steps as AACOMAS. However, you can submit up to 3 additional letters on top of your letter packet.

      AMCAS: You can upload up to 9 additional letters through AMCAS
      1. Under the letter of evaluation/recommendation
      2. Select individual letter
      3. Enter the appropriate information
      4. Click save

      TMDSAS: You can upload one letter packet (4 letters) through letter tracker and one extra letter through TMDSAS
      1. Under letters of evaluation section
      2. Indicate how you will submit your letters of evaluation? HP Committee Packet
      3. Select Brigham Young University as your institution
      4. Under the optional letter section, select yes, you want to submit an optional letter
      5. Fill out the information for your letter writer
      6. Click Save
      ***your extra letter must be submitted before your application can be sent

      *If an additional letter needs to be uploaded after your application has been submitted, contact the letter secretary.

    • One of the greatest benefits of using Letter Tracker is the letter secretary will review each letter and packet before it is sent off. We will look for;

      • Common mistakes recommenders make
      • It is addressed to you and uses the correct pronouns throughout
      • The letter meets the AMCAS letter requirements
      • Is formatted correctly- including a letterhead, date, and signature

      If the letter writer has not met one or more of the above criteria, they will be contacted by the letter secretary. If you have concerns, reach out to the letter secretary.

      *We will not critique the content of the letter

    • AMCAS and AACOMAS accept up to 6 letters in a packet. TMDSAS and AADSAS will accept up to 4. You are not required to have the max number of letters in your letter packet. If you have letters that meet each of the school's letter requirements, you will be good to go.

      Medical students can usually fill these requirements with 3-6 letters in their packet, but each circumstance is different. Dental students will usually need 3-4 letters in their packet.

    • No. Schools will pick out the letters that meet their requirements (letter from a physician, dentist, professor, etc.) So, putting your letters in a certain order won't make a difference. Just be sure all required letters are selected in your packet.

    • Packets from Letter Tracker will be processed within 2-5 business days. If there is a problem with the packet request, you will be notified through the email submitted on letter tracker. Be sure to check that email regularly.

      If your packet has not been sent within a week, there was a mistake made by a letter writer. Letter writers are informed and instructed to correct their letter as soon as mistakes have been found.

      Once the packet has been uploaded to AMCAS or AACOMAS/AADSAS it will show on your application. TMDSAS may take longer to process the packet. You are responsible to make sure your packet has been submitted correctly.

    • Only the letters will be sent to the schools, the names and descriptions on letter tracker will not. When you create a packet, just remember whose letter is under what name and select the correct letters.

      If you are sending a packet to AACOMAS, reach out to the letter secretary before requesting the packet on Letter Tracker.

    • BYU preprofessional advisors discontinued the process of committee letters approximately 15 years ago. With over 500 applicants for medical school alone, we found that the committee letters were no longer serving our students and instead they were becoming a roadblock to many great candidates who couldn’t satisfy the committee letter requirements to then apply to medical school.

      Instead, we have moved to the letter packet and have found great success! The letter packet sent will fulfill the requirements of the committee letter and are interchangeable.

    • How important is getting updated letters?


      It is pretty important. Schools want to see that you have improved since the last time you applied. One of the ways schools see this is through updated letters. We recommend that ATLEAST half of your letters are dated for the current calendar year.

      Updating your letter


      Keep in contact with your letter writers and ask them to update your letter. If you’ve continued to work with the writers, it would be great to have them include more details about the further work you’ve been doing. If you haven’t, it’s great to have them simply update the date on your letter.

      How can my letter writer upload the updated letter?

      The letter writers can access their old letters in the letter tracker system. (If they no longer have access to the old letter, email the letter secretary and include; the letter writers preferred email and your BYU net ID) After they have updated your letter, writers can either upload a new copy into letter tracker directly or send it to the letter secretary to be uploaded.

    • Other packets are most commonly sent to military scholarships, schools, or other medical/dental scholarships.

      Other packets can only be sent to medical/dental related fields. If you need your letters sent to a non-med/dent destination, contact the letter secretary.

    Questions about letters of recommendation

    • Its best to start asking for your letters of recommendation at least 2-3 months before you plan to submit your application. You can start collecting letters in letter tracker, anytime throughout the year! Generally, the earlier you ask your recommenders, the better the letter will be. It gives your recommenders more time and makes you their top priority to write a good and beneficial letter.

      Your application can be submitted BEFORE your letters are ready! To know specific details, about submission without letters check out the answer under the letter tracker questions. Do not wait for the deadline to submit letters or your application. It is best to get that submitted ASAP! Applications can start to be submitted around June; it is best to have your application submitted by then. Letters don’t need to be submitted until secondaries. You should have your letters submitted by the middle of July, as some schools may start the acceptance process at this time.

    • Medical schools will generally range between three and five required letters. The most common required letters are those from;

      • Science professors (between 1 and 3)
      • Non-science professor (usually 1)
      • Physician (or a medical professional) (between 1 and 2)
      • Extracurricular observers (up to 2)

      Dental schools will range between two and four required letters. The most common required letters are those from;

      • Science professors (up to 2)
      • Advisor (between 1 and 2)
      • Dentist (between 1 and 2)

      To know exactly which letters are needed for the schools you are applying to, you will need to explore on your own. Some medical students can fulfill each of the school’s requirements with only 2 or 3 letters, others will need up to 6. (Dental students may be able to fulfill the requirements with only 2, others will need up to 4)

      We recommend that you gain relationships with at least 6 possible recommenders throughout the years you are preparing to apply (Dental students should have at least 4 possible recommenders). This will ensure that you have enough letters to fulfill each of the school’s requirements assuming some of your letter writers flake out, or you feel that the potential letter won’t be a positive influence to your application.

    • Look at each school’s requirements and determine who you need to ask from that. The best letters come from those that have the closest relationship with you. They are usually the most willing to take time to write a detailed and influential letter.

      It is very important to request LORs from those who know you well. Don’t get caught up in the name and/or title of the letter writer. The letter writer should be able to speak to such things as your work ethic, integrity, responsibility, personality/people skills, empathy/compassion, maturity, motivation for medicine, etc. They need to be your strongest advocates in supporting your application to medical school.

    • Information coming soon.