Submission Form Field: Letter of Recommendation

Add a third party form, letter of reference or letter of support to the form

Zack Schwartz avatar
Written by Zack Schwartz
Updated over a week ago

The Letter of Recommendation field is allows the applicant to request a recommendation or letter of support from a third party individual. This is the most complicated field to configure, so we're going to take this step by step.

How does it work?

An applicant will type in the name and email address of another individual. This individual will receive an email with an auto-generated link. If they click this link, it will take them to a form that you define. They can complete the form and click submit to complete their recommendation or letter of support.

To add a Letter of Rec Field, click Letter of Rec on the left side panel of the form builder.

Available Field Settings

First, we'll cover these three settings highlighted below.

Allow Applicant to Send Request Prior to Finalizing

You should enable this setting by checking the box if you want your applicant to have the ability to fire off the request to their recommender prior to completing their submission. If you have this option selected, it will show a button to the end user on the submission form to Send Request Now.

Allow Applicant to View Completed Reference

Self-explanatory, applicants can view their completed references on their public portal if this option is enabled. Most customers leave this option off, as the general expectation is that applicants cannot see what their recommenders write about them.

Allow Letter of Recommendation to be Received after the Submission Deadline

If checked, the submission deadline specified for your program will be ignored for the purposes of receiving letters of recommendations. If you insist that the letters of recommendations be received no later than the submission deadline itself, then uncheck this setting.

Define The Third Party Form

You must define the form that the recommender will complete. You can do this by clicking Manage Fields. It is effectively another form builder -- a form builder within a form builder.

A simple example would look like this.

Content Options

Most customers leave the following content options as the default setting, but you can customize it to your liking. Click Edit on the item you wish to customize.


Using Letter of Recommendation Field while allowing users to submit to multiple categories

There is a limitation when using LoR fields in conjunction with multiple category submissions feature. The feature allows a user to work on a single entry and choose multiple categories to submit to.

Behind the scenes, the system has one master entry where it keeps track of all of the submitter information.  When the submission is finalized (or moved to the shopping cart, if there are fees); the system takes that one entry and splits it up into one entry per category.

The purpose of this is to allow for judging and review to take place independently for each category the person applied to.

When using the Letter of Recommendation Field, the system behaves as follows:

Scenario 1:  Letter of Recommendation Request Sent before Finalization, recommender completes their recommendation, then submission is finalized by submitter.

In this scenario, the letter of recommendation request is attached to the master application; upon finalization, all of the data is copied over to each individual submission.  Only one recommendation is requested and the results are applied to all categories.

Scenario 2: Letter of Recommendation Request Sent before Finalization, the submission is finalized, then recommender completes their recommendation.

In this scenario, the letter of recommendation request is sent once, but then the application is copied to each category.  When the recommender completes the request, only the data is only attached to the first category's submission.

An administrator must manually copy the data over to the remaining categories.

Scenario 3: The Submission is Finalized prior to the Letter of Recommendation Request Being Sent

In this scenario, the application is copied over to each category.  If there are 3 categories selected, 3 reference requests are sent, and each one requires a response.

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