Can I apply to US colleges and take a gap year before enrolling? Answered
Hi, in light of the ongoing pandemic, I was wondering if I could apply this year but enroll until next one in university.
Yes, but that depends on the universities you are applying to. You should research because some universities might not recommend that.
Most colleges will not allow you to pre-select a gap year for a future matriculation date. That means if you apply this fall 2020/2021 cycle you are expected to enter their program in the fall of 2021 and graduate in 2025. I have seen various application essay prompts which ask the question if you are interested in taking a gap year and what would you do but that is not the same as having a checkbox that says you're applying for either the Class of 2025 or Class of 2026 or a delayed start. Also, if you are applying for financial aid, that complicates things a little because your fin-aid package is only for the next school year not for the future or forward start year. I'm under the belief that if you gain acceptance to various RD applications you can then negotiate with your accepted schools about either a delayed or deferred start but it will be up to them to grant that to you. Although there are many Freshman deferring enrollment this Fall, I'm also under the understanding that they determined this only after they were accepted by the college in question.
It all depends on the Universities. I would recommend you do some research for each of your schools because, while some accept deferrals others do not. It all depends on the University's policy.
Also keep in mind that the situation can vary if you choose to apply for financial aid. It is likely that they wouldn't defer the financial aid along with your admissions.
Hope this helps