One of those most challenging things to do as part of the AADSAS dental school application is securing letters of recommendation from professors and dentists.
One of the challenges regarding these letters of recommendation presents because of the fact that the dental school application service does not let you collect and input letters of recommendation for your application until the dental application "soft opens," around May 15th each year. From there, a scramble starts with trying to have professors upload letters of recommendation in time for you to submit your dental school application early.
However, there is one trick that allows you to secure your dental school letters of recommendation at any day in the year, and then transfer them to the AADSAS or TMDSAS dental school application. This way, you can secure your letter of recommendation before the application service opens, and have peace of mind, knowing that you have secured your letter of recommendation and it's ready to use.
That trick lies in using a third-party program called Interfolio.
What is Interfolio.
Interfolio is a website-based service that allows you to you seamlessly get your dental school letters of recommendation and get them uploaded into the application service, like AADSAS.
To begin with, Interfolio Dossier is free to use for collecting letters of recommendation. It’s similar to Google Drive or Dropbox, in the way that it stores letters of recommendation. However, it makes it so that you can not view the content within the letter of recommendation. In other words, it allows you to confidentially store the letter of recommendation, and transfer the letter of recommendation into application services like the AADSAS and TMDSAS dental school application, but does not allow you to read the letter of recommendation.
This way, you can upload your letters of recommendation into application services easily, and if you end up wanting to apply in a later year or later admissions cycle, you will have the letter of recommendation stored in Interfolio, so that you can easily transfer the letter of recommendation then, without having to ask your professor or other recommender for the letter again in future years.
This also will save you from having to track down your professors who wrote your letters of recommendation if you have to reapply after being rejected. Normally, the AADSAS dental school application clears all letters of recommendation from your application if you are a re-applicant. This poses an issue
The Cost to Use Interfolio.
While Interfolio is free to use for requesting and storing letters of recommendation, Interfolio does charge an annual fee for transferring letters of recommendation out of Interfolio and into the AADSAS or TMDSAS application. That fee is typically around $50, which gives you unlimited access to transferring letters of recommendation for 365 days.
How to Use Interfolio.
Navigating the Interfolio website is notoriously difficult. To aid in learning how to properly navigate the site and request letters of recommendation, watch this video, which provides a live, step-by-step walkthrough of the Interfolio website. It includes everything from creating your account to requesting the letters of recommendation from professors or dentists.
PREDENTING CAN HELP YOU GET INTO YOUR DREAM DENTAL SCHOOLS
If you're applying to dental school and want to make your dental school application and candidacy shine … we can help you!
Getting into the dental school you want, and can be proud of, will require a compelling personal statement, outstanding supplemental essays, an influential application, and acing your dental school interview with interview coaching … all of which we can help you with!
The one thing we can’t help you with is committing to following your dreams.
We have a team of former admissions officers, admissions insiders, and former dental school interviewers who are here to help you! They are available on a limited, first-come, first-serve basis. Schedule your free dental school admissions advising consultation now!
If you have any questions or need any help at all, please don't ever hesitate to reach out!
About the Author: Andrew Ghadimi, DDS
Dr. Andrew graduated from UCLA's School of Dentistry and served on the ADEA AADSAS Advisory Board, helping run the dental school application, AADSAS. He also served as the National Pre-Dental Liaison for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the same organization that runs the dental school application. While at UCLA's School of Dentistry, he also served on the Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows Board, as the Pre-Dental Chair for California. He has mentored and advised 300+ pre-dentals on their journey to dental school and helped pre-dentals receive over $1,000,000 in scholarships in addition to acceptances to some of the most competitive dental schools in the country, including Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, UF, UCLA, and many others.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to UCLA School of Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association, or any other organization.