I have 9 and 10 months old recommendation letters. Can I use these when applying to graduate programs (United States)? Is that okay with the admissions committee?
In addition to other points already made, in most situations you do not send the letters yourself, but have the recommenders send the letters directly. Sometimes this involves simply uploading the letters to a web site, but this would be done _by_the_recommenders_, not by you.
Thus, some action will be required by your recommenders.
To elaborate on Nate Eldredge's point, this would be a bad idea on several levels:
- It will look bad with the committee. Presumably the letters are dated and people will notice. It will probably not be interpreted charitably.
- Presumably an updated letter will may more good things about you, since it will mention whatever you've been doing for past 10 months. Hopefully you've done something worth noting in that time.
- It's also bad form to use letters so long after they are written without contacting the authors. I don't think there are any precise cutoffs for when one transitions from OK to not OK, but I feel like 10 months is pretty firmly in not OK territory. You need to give the letter writers the chance to update their assessment, hopefully for the better.
I don't understand why people being out of town is a problem for contacting them. As Nate says, just send them an email. The ball will be in their court, and they can figure out whether it's practical or not.