A job seeker writes:
I hope that you can find the time in the coming days to blog about the current state of the academic job market vis-a-vis the exorbitant rates that interfolio charges for uploading letters vs emailing them. This problem would seem to have a rather easy solution though a consensus on the problem itself would be needed before it could be implemented.
The problem, in short, is this. Interfolio charges 4$ per letter to upload letters to application websites. This means that a typical student who has 5 committee members and one teaching letter is paying 24$ to send out a single application in most cases. Multiply this by the 50 or so applications a student will send out and the price of uploading letters alone costs 1200$. Given that you have written about the high costs of traveling to the APA this issue would appear to be on par with that one.
Obviously there are issues of justice here as well. Those with deep pockets can afford to send out more applications and upload a greater number of letters than those without who must be more judicious. The result is two tiered system that favors the already fortunate.
Frankly, I don't see how Interfolio justifies charging 24$ and up for pressing 'send' but this issue has ben cropping up again and again on my FB feed and in conversation. Further there seems an easy solution. Job posters could use interfolio for the application procedure thus minimizing costs or they should be encouraged to include an email in the ad where letters can be sent for far less than the upload fee.
Thoughts from readers?