Many applicants wonder if they can or should submit additional recommendations to schools. Most schools discourage you from sending any additional material. HBS in particular asks that you refrain from sending additional materials. From the HBS Director’s Blog:
“I know it’s getting closer to the notification deadline so I need to remind you that we simply cannot accept any additional materials or updates ”” other than new contact information. This includes supplemental letters of recommendation.”
Kellogg also request that candidates refrain from sending additional materials, however their language is not as strong as the HBS language.
Stanford also “strongly discourages” applicants from sending more than the three requested letters of reference. However, if applicants do wish to submit another letter, Stanford asks that additional materials fit in one packet and that is received (not postmarked) by the admissions office by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the appropriate deadline date.
If you do choose to send an additional letter of support, here are some suggestions:
1. Ask an alum or current student who knows you well – Someone who can speak to your fit with the culture of the school.
2. Keep it short and sweet – They do not need to answer all of the official recommendation questions. It’s better if they write it from the heart and give a few vivid examples.
3. Email is an option – A few schools even send out an email to current students or alums asking them to follow a format should they wish to submit an email support letter for an applicant.
4. Do not overload the admissions office – One additional letter of recommendation is plenty, so choose your spokesperson wisely.