Deferring Your Enrollment

  • How can I request an enrollment deferral?

    Admitted students are welcome to request an enrollment deferral. In order to do so, please complete the Admission Response form in your Stanford Portal. If you have already submitted the form and decide afterwards that you would like to request a deferral, please email admission@stanford.edu for next steps.

    When you request a deferral, we will ask you to provide a clear plan for how you will spend your gap year. Once the request is received, our office will review your tentative plans and inform you whether you have been approved to take a gap year. You can expect a response within 5-7 business days. While most deferrals are for just one year, two-year deferrals are granted in order to fulfill national military service requirements or to complete a religious mission.

  • What happens once my deferral has been approved?

    Once your deferral has been approved, you will be asked to sign the Stanford Gap Year Contract in your Stanford Portal. Once you have signed the contract, you are all set to begin the plans you had set out for your gap year. There are no additional tasks until February when we will send you an email asking you to confirm your enrollment. Please make sure to check your email in early February.

  • What happens if my deferral is not approved?

    Students whose deferral requests are not approved are still welcome to enroll at Stanford on their original timeline.

  • What can I do during my gap year?

    Students may choose to take a gap year for a variety of reasons, including personal development, extracurricular opportunities, health, family responsibilities, military service, religious missions, etc. We ask that you provide us with a clear plan for how you will spend your time. Additionally, all students who defer their enrollment will be asked to sign a contract, stating that they will not apply to, hold a place at, or enroll full-time in any other college or university while holding a deferred place at Stanford University.

  • Will I have access to my Stanford accounts during the gap year?

    Students will lose access to their Stanford accounts during their gap year. You will regain access after confirming your enrollment in February of the year you plan to enroll.

  • What happens after I confirm my enrollment in February?

    After your Stanford Gap Year Enrollment Confirmation Form is processed, your Stanford email and Axess student pages will reactivate. Please allow 3-5 business days for your form to be processed. You will then be able to access your email at webmail.stanford.edu.

    To learn more about next steps, (including financial aid, ways to connect, required forms, and more) please visit this page. You will hear from Approaching Stanford in early May (first-years) or June (transfers) with information about required forms, housing, and New Student Orientation.

    If you have not already done so, please make sure to create a SUNet ID. You can find instructions on how to do so here.

  • How does financial aid work after a deferral?

    Although you may have applied for financial aid in a previous year, you must submit updated application information every year. Follow the instructions for Regular Decision or Transfer applicants at financialaid.stanford.edu. Stanford’s priority filing date for the 2024-2025 FAFSA has been moved to March 15, 2024. First year applicants are still asked to complete the CSS Profile and submit federal tax information via IDOC by February 15. You will receive an email when your financial aid notification has been posted to your portal.

    Please note that if you are an international citizen who did not apply for need-based aid at the time of your application, you will not be eligible for need-based financial aid from Stanford as an undergraduate student.