4. Is it better for me to waive my legal right to see the letters of reference that are written about me?

 

There are varying opinions on this issue. You should discuss your decision with your letter writers. While some people who serve on graduate admissions committees prefer waived letters, feeling they have more credibility, others give equal credibility to all letters. Some go further and are offended by the pressure put on students to waive a legal right. Remember that even members of the same admissions committee may not have the same perspective on this. In addition, members of admissions committees often change year to year so you will be unlikely to know who is on your admissions committee much less the perspective of each member.

Your decision, then, needs to be based on something else. Pay attention to your own values and concerns. How do you feel about waiving this legal right?

In summary, there are advantages to waiving your legal right to review your letters and there are different advantages to maintaining that right.