Cornell University

Letters of Recommendation

The letter of evaluation and letters of recommendation (LORs) make up an essential component of applications to medical and dental school. Because the letters contain specific information about an applicant with respect to how the recommender views the applicant, these letters contribute significantly to admissions committees’ decisions.

Information for HCEC Registrants

  • For guidance with selecting a letter writer and asking for an LOR, download the document Whom to Ask and How.
  • For each LOR writer, download the 2020 LOR Guidelines and FERPA Intent Form from the HCEC Process Overview page.
  • After making your FERPA decision, fill out page 2 entirely, including the letter writer contact information. Sign the form only if you wish to waive your FERPA rights on the letter, and be sure to indicate your FERPA intent in the appropriate checkbox.
  • Send the completed 2020 LOR Guidelines and FERPA Intent Form to your letter writer along with an appropriately professional, respectful email or letter. Inform the letter writer that the attached document contains submission instructions, as well as your FERPA intent, and remind the writer that this form should be submitted to the HCEC along with the recommendation letter. Do not send your letter writer a blank or partially completed FERPA Intent Form.
  • Add the letter writer contact information for each anticipated LOR to the LORs Form page in your HCEC Online Checklist.
  • The HCEC will update your LORs Form page within 3 business days of receiving each letter, indicating that the letter has been received. If the Online Checklist indicates that the FERPA rights of a letter are retained and you wish to waive those rights, you may submit a completed, signed FERPA Intent Form, one for each LOR, directly to the HCEC.

Information for Letter Writers - Sending a Letter to the HCEC

Please refer to the 2020 LOR Guidelines and FERPA Intent Form sent to you by the HCEC Registrant (also found on the HCEC Process Overview page), for content, format, and style guidelines.

Writers with active Cornell Net IDs:

Please use Cornell Secure File Transfer (, formerly Cornell Dropbox) to send LORs and FERPA forms to the HCEC. Upload documents through Cornell Secure File Transfer in MSWord or PDF format to "hcec_letters".  

Writers without Cornell Net IDs:

The HCEC strongly encourages letter writers without Cornell NetIDs to upload documents using the HCEC’s Secure Guest Portal. So that we may authenticate the origin of your letter, please email from your institutional email address, and include the full name of the HCEC registrant. Please do not attach the letter in your email. You will receive a link via email to the Secure Guest Portal, usually within one business day. Please contact the HCEC at with any questions.

By Postal Mail:

If you prefer, the HCEC will accept paper documents sent to:
HCEC Records Coordinator
Cornell University
210 Barnes Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-1601