Students talking during NSO

Requesting a Gap Year

Requesting a Gap Year

A deferral can be a wonderful way to expand your educational horizons through opportunities that cannot be found in a traditional classroom environment. Whether it be through travel abroad, community service, paid work, or research and internships, a well-planned and thoughtful deferral can enrich your education, aid in your personal growth and allow you to start college with a greater sense of direction and purpose.

If you are admitted to Grinnell and would like to request a gap year, you must submit a formal, written request to the assistant vice president of admission by July 1. Priority consideration will be given to requests submitted prior to June 15. The request should be approximately one or two paragraphs in length and it should contain the following information:

  • Why you would like to request a deferral
  • Description of your deferral plan


The assistant vice president of admission will inform you whether or not your request for a gap year has approved as soon as possible after it is submitted. If approved, you will receive the First Year Deferral Agreement Form, which you must sign electronically and return to the Office of Admission. You must also submit your $500 tuition deposit by the required May 1 deadline. Several months leading up to your enrollment, you will receive the Deferral Re-Enrollment Form. This will confirm your desire to enroll in the upcoming fall semester.


Transfer Credit Policy

Please note that if you complete 12 or more transferrable college-level credits during your gap year, you will lose your standing as a first year student and must re-apply as a transfer applicant. Your admission would then be based in part on the quality of your college work.

Deferral Types and Financial Aid

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.

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