Is it common for an adcom officer pick up the phone and call my recommenders to cross-check information on my application? If it varies by school, what is it like at NYU and Cornell?
Does it ever happen? Is it 50-50? Does anyone know what kind of information an officer might be trying to extract from the recommender? Just cross checking facts, or is it just to get clarification on an ambiguous statement?
Not entirely sure about Stern, but Cornell won't call your recommenders during the admissions process. They do, however, perform a background check on each and every student in the incoming class (this usually happens in late July). During that background verification process, Kroll will call both of your recommenders (on behalf of Cornell) and ask questions about you and the recommendation they wrote.