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Deferral and Gap Year

Deferral and Gap Year Information

Sometimes a Dickinson education may not begin immediately after high school. Unprecedented opportunities or challenging situations prompt some students to defer or take a gap year. 

What's a deferral? A deferral is when a student decides to delay the start of college by a semester or two.

How is that different from a gap year? A gap year is a full-year deferral, often taken when a student enrolls in an enrichment, fellowship or other such program.

If you decide to push back your start at Dickinson for a semester or a year, there are a few simple steps you must take:

  1. Submit your enrollment deposit.
  2. Request the deferral or gap year, including details of your plans, via the online form (accessible in the Applicant Portal) by May 22.
  3. Verify in writing that you will not enroll in a degree-granting program at another institution or apply to other colleges during your time off. Should you do so, you will forfeit your admission to Dickinson.

Financial Aid

If you are deferring for one semester, you will not have to file for need-based aid again. The second half of your need-based aid package will be applied to the spring semester.

If you have received a financial-aid offer from Dickinson as part of your acceptance and are deferring for a full year, you will need to resubmit the forms next year. But unless your family's financial circumstances change significantly in the meantime, it is unlikely that your financial-aid package will change.


Also note that students who deposit and have an approved deferral of their enrollment will keep their merit scholarships.

Gap Year Opportunities

We invite you to consider the gap-year option and know that whether you come this fall, in the spring or the following year, we look forward to welcoming you to the Dickinson community!


Please contact the program coordinator or the dean of admissions