I am currently finishing undergrad this month and then doing an informal post bacc. I was thinking of saving myself the trouble of hunting down LOR writers later on and asking my current professors now. I don’t plan on applying until the 2017 cycle, but I have done well in undergrad, and have really built a rapport with my professors this year. Part of me wants to ask now, for fear of them forgetting me in two years. Is this something that is possible? Would this be frowned upon? Also, has anyone else done this before?
My understanding is that ideally LOR’s need to be less than 1 year old when submitted with your application, some schools will take them if they are more than a year old but they will often carry less weight.
I applied more than once cycle, and for this past cycle, I had to reach out to all my letter writers and ask them to submit their letters again with a current date, the contents didn’t change, but the Pre-Med committee at my undergrad wouldn’t let me use them if they were more than two years old, and if there were more than a year old they had to mention such in my committee letter.
So asking for letters early might not be a bad thing, as long as they’re willing to either wait to actually send them, or willing to send ones with updated dates later. Keep in mind that letters have to be sent directly to the schools and/or AMCAS depending on where you’re applying. I don’t think you can submit them yourself at all, and if you’ve seen the contents of them they carry considerably less weight.
My understanding is the same as Prodigal’s. I personally didn’t have a problem with this issue. I asked a professor from my initial undergrad degree for a letter (I graduated from undergrad in 2003 and applied to medical school in 2013, so 10 years!). The professor and I had kept in touch across the years (so that’s something you can do with these profs, send them periodic updates on your progress), and then when it came time for the letter, I sent him my CV and wrote about why I want to become a doctor. Those were good background documents for him to have, to write his letter in the appropriate context. Hope this helps. Best wishes to you!