When requesting a recommendation, applicants have the option to "waive their right" to view what the recommender submits or they can choose not to waive their right to view this information. When they begin the process of requesting the recommendation, they will be prompted to fill out a form as seen below. At the very bottom of the form they will see a box that contains the statement "I waive any right I may have to read or obtain copies of the recommendation which I am requesting," and then they must choose "yes" or "no."
Note: It is not possible to 'turn off' this ability for the applicant to decide whether or not to waive their right to see the recommendation. There is a workaround which is discussed at the end of this solution.
The applicant can choose "yes," which means that they are waiving their right to view what the recommender submits. The request will be sent to the recommender, and upon opening the recommendation form for the applicant, the recommender will see the following notice:
This notice will tell the recommender that everything submitted by them is confidential and will never be seen by the applicant.
If the applicant chooses "no," then they are not waiving their right to view what the recommender submits. The request will be sent to the recommender, and upon opening the recommendation form for the applicant, the recommender will see the following notice:
At this point, the recommender can submit the recommendation, aware that the form being submitted is not necessarily confidential. Or, the recommender can chose not to submit the recommendation because the applicant did not waive their right to view the form.
If the applicant does not waive their right to see the recommendation and the recommender completes the recommendation anyway, there are two ways the applicant can obtain a copy of what was submitted.
There is a setting under Settings > System Features > Administrative tab that will determine if the applicant will be able to simply click on the completed recommendation from their application page or if they must request a copy of the recommendation from the office. See the image below:
If this box is checked, any applicant who does not waive their right will be permitted to view the submitted recommendation by clicking the link on their application page. This makes it very easy for the applicants to see the submitted recommendation.
If this box is not checked, any applicant who does not waive their right and wants to see the submitted recommendation will be required to request a copy from your office. Adding this extra step will reduce the number of applicants who will actually see the recommendation that was submitted on their behalf.
As previously stated, there is no way within the system to 'turn off' the ability for applicants to be presented with the option of whether or not to waive their right.
Important Note: It is possible to edit the text that appears to applicants when initially requesting the recommendation by changing the text interface fields [#198, #199, #200]. This option is only available in classic functionality as this text is hard-coded in the Modern Applicant Experience. However you choose to change the text, be aware that your setting in Settings > System Features still needs to be set correctly because the functionality will still exist even if the text interface has been changed.
Note: Universities and public institutions should check with their legal council before changing the text interface of this section. In some instances, it may be a FERPA violation to change the question so that it asks something different or to discourage applicants from not waiving their right.