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College Deferral Guide

The 6 Steps of the College Deferral Process


Apply to colleges
Before you can defer, you need to get accepted! Complete the application process for the colleges or universities of your choice and let the decisions roll in as you begin the next step of the college deferral process.


Plan your gap
It’s important to take time to reflect as you consider your interests and research your options during this step of the college deferral process. Familiarize yourself with our modular Gap Year, Semester, and Short-Term programs with the help of your expert Gap Year Consultant, who will work with you and your family one-on-one to determine the perfect program for you.


Choose your college
Now is the time to commit to your school of choice, celebrate your accomplishments, and anticipate the next chapter.


Submit your college deposit
Reserve a spot at your school of choice by submitting a deposit. While deposits are not legally binding, colleges typically view them as a firm commitment. Additionally, deposits are usually nonrefundable, meaning that if you change your mind about which school you’d like to attend after your EF Gap experience, there’s a good chance you won’t get your deposit back.


Send deferral documents to your school
Once your deposit has been submitted, you’ll need to officially request your deferral. While these processes vary depending on the school, colleges typically require students to fill out a “Request to Defer” form, which is often located within your school’s admitted students’ portal.

You’ll also need to write a formal deferral letter detailing goals and plans for your gap year. This should be sent between April and mid-June for the admissions committee. We’ll dive deeper into what this letter looks like in a moment.


Receive approval for your EF Gap Year or Semester
Congratulations! Your request to defer was approved and you’re ready to go on the gap year of your dreams, knowing you have a spot at school waiting for you the following spring or fall.

From Decision-Making to Deferring: Making Your Gap Happen

We hosted a webinar for families who are evaluating the gap decision-making process. In this session, we break down enrollment, deferrals, and pre-departure so you can walk away knowing the next steps to make your gap dreams a reality.

We were also joined by higher education professional Christian Meyer and Senior Assistant Director of Duke Undergraduate Admissions Camey VanSant who shared their perspective on what colleges are looking for when building their classes and how gap years are an accelerant for college-bound students.


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