Information adapted from Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College.
The legal arguments are a little confusing, but yes, thanks to the Buckley Amendment, you can view your recommendations before they’re filed. It has to do with privacy rights, which is a very complex area of legislation.
Most applications have a box you can check to sign away your rights. Checking this box reassures your colleges that you are not worried about what your letters might say. And it may make the writers of your recommendations more comfortable knowing that you will not be reading their letters.
Depending on the relationships you have with them, your counselor and teachers may actually ask you to read through a letter of recommendation, to check it for accuracy.