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Can my referee write me a recommendation letter and use his scanned signature (electronic signature) and put it in word or PDF file? will it be accepted?
Because you, the applicant, are never supposed to see the letters. Admissions committees want to see candid evaluations of applicants. Many letter writers would naturally feel uncomfortable offering any critical comments, no matter how inconsequential, if t knew that the applicant would read them. Also, some recommendation letters offer useful direct comparisons with other past applicants. (“I would rate XXX’s potential for success is stronger than YYY, who is already in your PhD program, but perhaps slightly weaker than ZZZ, who finished his PhD at Stanford last year.”) But these comparative evaluations are confidential; the writer’s opinion of those other people is none of your business. Finally, as Tony’s answer suggests, because there is intense competition for graduate school admissions, and some people try to cheat the system. Allowing you to upload the letters yourself gives you a golden opportunity to cheat the system, by altering the letters before scanning, or by forging the supposed recommender’s signature on a letter you’ve written yourself. Some applicants would take advantage of that opportunity, and a few of them would even succeed, robbing more qualified and more honest applicants.
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That would be a betrayal of the best kind and a stain on your application to a very prestigious university. And it would be a violation of the letter of the law. And if your recommendation letters are fake, it could undermine your application to a top university. The whole point of a letter of recommendation is to recommend the applicant who you believe is the most qualified. But a person might be the opposite of qualified. She might have performed poorly on the GRE, or she might have gone to an elite college, but when you have the opportunity to read her letter, you might not see it as the most impressive recommendation. Maybe she is completely unqualified, she is a low-IQ, high-spending welfare recipient, but your committee would like to remember her as having a higher IQ than you. Or when read it yourself, she could easily.