A: References should come directly from the evaluator to OTCAS, unless otherwise instructed by your designated OT program. Evaluators can send References to OTCAS electronically or by using a paper Reference Form that can be printed from the OTCAS application.
A: Before you enter your Reference's contact information on the application, you are advised to contact the evaluator,
If your Reference chooses to submit a recommendation electronically, you should enter only their e-mail address and leave the mailing address fields blank. If your Reference chooses to submit a hard copy, you must complete the mailing address fields and leave the e-mail address blank. For paper-format references, you will need to print the appropriate forms and send these to your Reference to complete. Your Reference will be provided with extensive instructions for submitting recommendations to OTCAS. For more detailed instructions regarding how to print the Reference Request Forms, please refer to the “Printing Request Forms” page of these FAQs.
A: Please contact your recommenders before you enter your electronic References' information in your References page and tell them to expect an e-mail from OTCAS with instructions and login information for the online form. OTCAS will send this e-mail to each of your References within 24 hours of when you save their information within your OTCAS application, regardless of whether you have e-submitted your final application.
A: You must enter all information for the reference on your application first. Once the information has been entered, you can print the OTCAS Reference Form (PDF) by clicking the orange “Print” icon next to the reference's name on your list of references. Each OTCAS reference form is unique to the applicant and evaluator, so please be sure to print the correct form for each reference.
A: To change a reference, you may delete the Reference as long as the status is still listed as “New.” Once a Reference (evaluator) has submitted an electronic letter of reference, or OTCAS has received the paper reference form for the evaluator, you can no longer delete the Reference from your application. If you wish to replace one of your References with a new individual, you must delete the original entry and add the new one. (Do NOT edit an existing Reference to reflect a new person).
A: If you check, "I waive my right to access this reference," the person writing the reference will write it knowing that you will not have access to it. If you check, "I do NOT waive my right to access this recommendation," the person writing the reference will write it knowing that you can ask to read his/her comments. Programs may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see the letters. If you retain access, you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during interview(s). See next question.
A: You do not have access to any of your references through the OTCAS portal, even if you have not waived your right to access them. You must contact the reference (evaluator) directly to view the letters they have written for you. OTCAS will not provide you with a copy of any references, regardless of whether you have waived access to it.
A: No. Once you choose to waive or not waive your right to view your completed reference, you cannot change your selection. Make sure that you are satisfied with your decision before you save the information for your References.
A: Yes. A committee letter of recommendation needs to be submitted as a paper reference rather than an electronic one. If the Committee Letter of Recommendation is a compilation of several individuals and contains one Recommendation Request Form and one letter, it will be considered as one recommendation. The individual writing the recommendation will need to fill out the evaluation grid on the Recommendation Request Form. You will need to obtain two additional recommendations.
A: OTCAS will not verify a Reference's identity. If an OT program suspects an evaluation is falsified, it is the OT program's responsibility to contact the applicant or evaluator to investigate. OTCAS will share any suspected cases of falsified evaluations reported by an OT program with the applicant and the applicant's other designated programs without comment regarding appropriate action. OTCAS will not attempt to verify the accuracy of the school investigation results.
A: No. You can and should e-submit your OTCAS application as soon as you are confident that you have filled out all of the sections completely and accurately. OTCAS will accept any of your required documentation at any point during the application cycle, whether you have submitted your application or not. If materials arrive before you e-submit, you will not be able to see the receipt status of these documents until you have e-submit your application to OTCAS.
A: NO. OTCAS does not accept any faxed or emailed references under any circumstances. Paper-formatted references must be mailed directly from the evaluators who have written them. Electronic-format references can only be received through the secure OTCAS Reference portal. Any references that are faxed or emailed to OTCAS will not be attached to your application and will not be kept by OTCAS.
A: Yes. You are able to delete a Reference listing as long as the letter of reference is not yet marked as “Completed” on your References page. You cannot edit a Reference listing directly, but you may delete the listing and re-enter it with the correct information, as long as the letter is not yet completed.
A: If one of your References was originally entered as an electronic-format recommendation and would like to submit a paper-format letter instead, or vice versa, you must delete the electronic-format listing and re-add the Reference's information as a paper-format recommendation.
A: The email sent to your electronic-format References is automatically generated and may be occasionally be misidentified as spam or junk-mail by the email service used by your Reference (evaluator). References entered into your application as electronic-format should receive an email from OTCAS within 24 hours after you saved the individual's email address on your application. If a reference has not received the OTCAS email within this time frame, follow these steps:
A: The References section of the OTCAS application allows you to print Reference Request Forms. This form MUST be included with a recommendation letter in order for the reference to be considered complete. You must enter the reference information into your application BEFORE you can print the Reference Request Form.
How to Print a Reference Request Form
IMPORTANT NOTE: Each of your Reference Request Forms is unique. Each form has the name of an evaluator indicated on it. Please be sure to send the correct form to each of your references. Letters of Reference sent without the appropriate Reference Request form may result in the delay of your application. WARNING: DO NOT ALTER THIS FORM IN ANY WAY