I wouldn't send in seventeen letters or anything, but a couple of extra ones shouldn't hurt anything. Although, you should check with the schools themselves - some may explicitly ask that no more than the committee be sent, and it's better to be sure.
I am having one extra person send me a rec so what I am doing is sending him a package with addressed and stamped envelopes for the schools i'm applying to. Now, here's my question:
I signed waivers for all the letters that are going from my pre-med committee. Do i need to do anything special for this other recommender's letters? Should I send an additional form that I type up that says i waive my right to read it? Or should I have him write that it is confidential? I know some schools have forms that I can use for this but others dont....
I think it is perfectly acceptable to send extra LORs. You don't want to overdo it though.
If you think that the letters are all different and that they show a different aspect of you then three extra ones are fine. But dont send letters just to make your file thicker. They have a lot to do and I am sure that they dont want to read 500 times what a nice person you are.
It isnt a bad idea to hold on to one good one, in case you get desperate later on and can use it as a perk. Many people did this last year and it worked for them. It allows the adcom to review your file once again.
Hey Bounty, I'm sending two extra letters, and I think I'm going to mail each school a letter beforehand letting them know that two extra letters are coming, and that I have waived any right to view them. Also, since they probably won't be done until all the schools have everything else, I think I'm going to request that they begin processing my application once the minimum set of documents is in, and then review the extras as they come in. I specifically asked my letter writers to wait until a certain day before mailing them out, so I would have time to get that letter in.
But I know some schools specifically say NO EXTRA LETTERS. For example, Tulane doesn't want anything extra, and Wash U says you can send only one extra, so everybody should definitely research the schools they're applying to.
Also, some schools, like U. Vermont, specifically say that they will not review your file until they recieve ALL letters, and asks you to list all the letters that will be coming.