Enrolling students may request to have their matriculation deferred for one academic year, often referred to as a gap year. This allows students the time to pursue non-academic opportunities through internships, volunteer work, enrichment programs, or other interests.

Please note, this information applies to incoming students only. If you are a returning student, see AARC’s Leaves, Withdrawal, Reinstatement page.

To request a gap year, matriculating Arts and Sciences, Conservatory, or Double Degree students are asked to submit the Gap Year Request Form by July 20. The Office of Admissions will review complete gap year requests and will notify students via their applicant portals as to whether or not the request has been approved. Note that this process is for students requesting a full gap year only, meaning no Oberlin instruction (on-campus or through remote learning). Those interested in remote options or changing their assigned semester preferences should follow the process indicated by the Deans.

Request a Deferral

Please note important considerations below:

  • During a gap year, students may not initiate applications to any other college or university without first notifying Admissions that you are forfeiting your enrollment at Oberlin. 

  • While students are permitted to take some classes during the gap year, they may not enroll full time in a degree granting program. Please see the course catalog for details. Please note that the Admissions Committee expects you to maintain good academic and disciplinary standing during your gap year.

  • Upon approval of a gap year request, a student is committing to attend Oberlin. There will be no need to re-apply to Oberlin, and any merit scholarships awarded at the time of admission will be honored provided that you remain in good academic and disciplinary standing during your deferral period. If you are a domestic student and a recipient of need-based financial aid, you will have to submit a FAFSA and all requested documents each year you attend Oberlin. Unless your family’s financial circumstances change significantly in the meantime, it is likely that your financial aid package will be similar to what we have currently offered.

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