Ever wonder what colleges think about the gap year option? This episode we are joined by Skyler Adams, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Northwestern University. Skyler tells about the gap year from the admissions perspective and how to think about a gap year as it relates to applying for college. We also discuss the ideal deferral plan, how deferring can impact financial aid and why a gap year won’t help get you into college.
- Create list of deferral-friendly schools (check school websites, the GYA list or ask admissions)
- Don’t boast about your gap year intentions during the application process.
- Best practice for gap year before college is to apply senior year and defer admission from your school of choice. Deferring = asking the college to save your spot for a year while you take an intentional gap year.
- Financial aid: some aid may defer, some you will have to reapply for.
How to defer admission:
- Every school has a unique policy, so call admissions for your future school and ask about it.
- Most schools will want you to put down a deposit and write a letter of deferment to explain why you want to take gap time and what you plan to do with it.
- Here is a guide to writing a deferral letter.
- If you want to gain college credit during your gap time, make sure that’s allowed. Some schools will let you gain a little while others will say, “no way.”
- Be ethical: if you plan to apply to new schools during your gap year, relinquish your admission commitment first.
- Stay in touch with your school during your gap time if that’s a requirement.