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In addition to the 3 LORs for my Ph.D. application, I have requested extra LORs from professors that I scanned & uploaded under the additional "Supportive Documents" of my application.

Obviously, the professors of these additional LORs are fully supportive and aware of their letters being open to me to upload as UNOFFICIAL & supporting docs...

Q: Since it's customary for applicants to "waive their rights" to LORs, will these extra LORs negatively impact my application since I know their contents??? What is your take on this? Thanks in advance :)

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No one needs more than three strong LORs, especially if that's what's been requested. I don't think these additional letters will be helpful to you, both because it might make it appear you have trouble following directions and because the non-confidentiality, the fact you're delivering them yourself, reduces their value.

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  • Thanks for the response. Value reductions are no problem. But can we talk about having trouble following directions? That's the main reason why I didn't make them official. We actually have extra slots for more LORs but I chose to do exactly 3 and the rest are "supporting docs". Would that still be bad? TIA!
    – oikos99
    Dec 20, 2017 at 22:56
  • @oikos99 I don't see how that changes things except to make it worse. I personally wouldn't submit more than 3 letters. And any LORs I did submit would be submitted by whatever mechanism they requested or not at all. Dec 21, 2017 at 2:01

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