1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Department of English Credentials Service

Q: Why open a credentials file?

A: Credentials file allows you to confidentially and efficiently store a master copy of the following:

Q: How do I open a credentials file?

A: To open a credentials file you will need to fill out the Application for Credentials Service and return it to:

Credentials Service
University of Virginia English Department
PO Box 400121
219 Bryan Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121

Fax: 434-924-1478
Location: 236B Bryan Hall
Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm M-F

Q: What is the difference between a confidential and non-confidential file? Which type is recommended?

A: Applicants waive their right to review confidential files. Non-confidential files may be reviewed by the applicant. It is your right to choose; however, we encourage the use of confidential files because most employers/graduate schools prefer to read letters which have not been reviewed. When a letter is confidential, the recommender has absolute freedom to give candid and honest comments about the applicant.

Q: Now that I have established a credential file, how do I add material to it? How do I check on its status?

A: You will need to obtain and give to the Credentials Administrator an official copy of your transcript. Your letters of recommendation should be sent to the address listed above. If you need to verify the arrival of your recommendations or if you need to make a general inquiry, please e-mail Colette Dabney (cdt4u@virginia.edu).

Q: What is the procedure for sending my file to employers and graduate schools?

A: Complete the Mailing Request Form

  • place address of your destination on a mailing label (include complete street address and phone number for all deliveries)

  • select the appropriate mailing option and be sure to include payment (see the Mailing Options and Fees)

  • send the above to the Credentials Office (contact info is above)

We cannot accept requests by fax or phone. Once your request has been received your materials will be mailed within 2-3 business days (unless Express service is selected).

Q: How long will my credentials file remain active?

A: Your credentials file will remain active for five years from the date you open it. After five years, your file will be confidentially recycled.

Q: What fees does the English Department charge for the credentials service?

A: Credentials Service Fees:
STANDARD (U.S. Mail)--$3.00
UPS Overnight--prices will vary

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE: About $30-$40 (Most Expensive)
UPS Next Day Air, early a.m.
UPS Next Day Air
UPS Next Day, Air Saver

UPS 2nd Day Air, a.m. - About $20-$30 (Mid-Range)
UPS 2nd Day Air

UPS 3rd Day Select - About $13 (This is the lowest priced service.)
UPS Ground Service

UPS charges the rate based on the distance for delivery and the weight of the packet. The prices above are estimates for each category.