How To Write A College Deferral Letter for a Gap Year

Are any of your students considering a Gap Year before attending College? Many Colleges will defer admission for a full year. How does a student defer College for a year? Every College is different (so it is important to check with the College to find out its specific policy), but it typically involves putting down a deposit AND formally requesting a deferral.

It is also important that your student write a deferral letter. What does this letter look like? Julia Rogers, owner of Enroute Consulting and an expert on Gap Years provided an example in her recent blog post on the subject.

Here is an example of a great deferral letter written by an EnRoute student several years ago and edited for relevance this year:

John Smith
Director of Admissions
Aplus College
451 School Drive
Boston, MA 12345

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to request a one-year deferral of my admission to Aplus College. I was accepted into the Aplus College Class of 2026. After reading about, hearing about, and attending a virtual tour of Aplus, I’m extremely excited to attend. I love its small size, intellectual and alternative atmosphere, great student support, and enthusiastic professors. I am sure it’s the college for me. My life, thus far, has been preparing me for both higher education and life outside of academia. I have never doubted that college would be for me, and have been looking forward to the college experience for years. Now, however, I feel truly that a gap year between high school and Aplus is what’s best for my personal development.

From late June to early August this summer, I will live at home on the weekends and spend my weeks living as a backcountry trail crew member. My crew will restore trails on public lands in northern Vermont with the Green Mountain Club.  This is an exciting adventure of living in the woods for the first time, working and living extremely collaboratively and learning about stewardship of public lands.  This work will generate some money to facilitate the next stages of my gap year.

Following my trail crew work, I will spend the fall on a leadership and outdoor education course with Woodlands Outdoor School. I will spend 80 days with my group navigating the terrain of the American Southwest while honing skills in orienteering and various outdoor pursuits. I am excited for the physical challenge of this experience and the personal development Woodlands will provide.

After the New Year, I hope to travel to in Costa Rica with the language immersion program, SICR. At SICR I will study Spanish and intern with a conservation organization. In addition to learning about international conservation efforts, I will get to integrate with another culture. This will nurture my interests in sustainable practices and cross-cultural exploration. In the event I’m not able to travel internationally, I plan to take online Spanish courses and find a virtual intercambio partner to practice language with.

In another year, I expect to be a more mature and engaged member of the Aplus community. I sincerely hope you will grant my deferral request and welcome me as a member of the Class of 2027.


Jake Williams

Here is a link to Julia’s complete blog post: