Students talking during NSO

Requesting a Gap Year or Gap Semester

We understand that due to the coronavirus pandemic, admitted students are facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty in their fall enrollment plans. Between June 1–July 15, deposited students may submit a gap semester or gap year request. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis and students will receive a final decision regarding their request no later than July 20. The approval of gap year requests in particular will be limited out of fairness to next year’s admitted student class.

 

Process

If you are admitted to Grinnell and would like to request a gap semester or gap year, you must submit a formal, written request to the Director of Admission between June 1–July 15. While all deferral requests will be given equal consideration, please submit your request as close to June 1 as possible to help with fall enrollment planning.

The request should be approximately one or two paragraphs in length and contain the following information:

  • the reason you would like to request a deferral
  • a description of your deferral plan, including the type of deferral you are seeking:
    • A one-year enrollment deferral with plans to arrive in fall 2021.
    • A one-semester arrival deferral with plans to take fall 2020 classes online at Grinnell and arrive for in-person classes in spring 2021
    • A one-semester enrollment deferral with no plans to take online classes at Grinnell, but plans to arrive for in-person classes in spring 2021

Please note: First-time first-year students are limited to a maximum of 24 approved pre- and post-matriculation transfer credits. This includes credits from AP, IB, A-level and/or CAPE examinations, as well as college-level classes taken at a community college or as a non-degree-seeking student at a 4-year institution. Students are permitted to take as many classes as desired at another institution as a non-degree-seeking student prior to enrollment at Grinnell; however, a maximum of 24-credits will transfer. Students that matriculate as a degree-seeking student at another institution will be considered transfer students to Grinnell.


Deferral Types and Financial Aid

Gap Semester

For first year students entering in the year 2020–21, there are two types of gap semesters available:

  • A one-semester arrival deferral with plans to take fall 2020 classes online at Grinnell and arrive for in-person classes in spring 2021
  • A one-semester enrollment deferral with no plans to take online classes at Grinnell, but plans to arrive for in-person classes in spring 2021

If you are approved for an arrival deferral, any scholarships and/or need-based financial aid awards you’ve received will be applied toward your enrollment in Grinnell online classes with an adjustment for changes to fees, room, board, and travel allowances. If you are approved for a one-semester enrollment deferral, your spring semester award will be divided equally between the two spring terms.

Gap Year

If you are approved for a gap year and awarded need-based financial aid, you must reapply for financial assistance by submitting the required forms by their published deadlines. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board’s CSS PROFILE. Students will receive more information regarding this process in January of their gap year.

If you received a merit-based scholarship, you will receive this same award amount when you re-enroll at the College. We recommend having a conversation with the Office of Admission if you have further questions about this process.


Approval

The Director of Admission will inform you on whether or not your request for a gap semester or gap year is approved on or before July 20. You must submit your $500 tuition deposit by the required May 1 deadline.

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