Taking time off before enrolling at Oxy can make for a beneficial and enriching experience.

There are plenty of reasons some students choose to defer enrollment—whether it's an itch for adventure, a unique work or service opportunity or a focus on caring for a family member in need. We recognize and support these choices, and each year a handful of students take time off before at Oxy.

Here's how the deferral process works:

To request to defer your admission, fill out the Gap Year Request Form. Deferral requests must be granted by the Office of Admission, who will review the requests and notify students in writing. Deferral requests are almost always approved as long as students have a detailed plan on how they will constructively spend their year away. Only first-year students may request a deferral; deferrals are not permitted for transfer students.

Deferrals are granted for one year. Due to course sequencing for first-years, one semester deferrals are not permitted. Two years may be granted in special circumstances, such as national military or religious service.

Terms for approved deferrals:

  • The student is required to submit an $800 total non-refundable deposit ($500 enrollment deposit by May 1 and $300 deferred enrollment deposit by August 10) to hold a place at Occidental.
  • The student may not submit deferral deposits or hold spaces at any other institutions.
  • Fall 2024 students who are looking to take a gap year must let the College know no later than August 1, 2024.
  • The student may not matriculate and/or enroll on a full-time basis at another college or university during the deferral period. However, students may take coursework to maintain academic focus. (A maximum of two courses will be accepted for credit at Occidental for incoming students.)
  • The student may not apply for admission to other colleges or universities during the deferral period.
  • The student must notify all other colleges to which they have gained admission of their decision to defer enrollment at Occidental.
  • Students who were granted an enrollment deferral are required to reconfirm their intention to enroll for Fall 2025 by February 15, 2025. Instructions on how to reconfirm will be sent via email.
  • If the student is a financial aid recipient, they must submit new financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile) by January 10 to be considered for financial aid. Financial aid awards will remain consistent as long as the family's financial circumstances remain consistent. (Before you finalize any plans, we strongly suggest you consult with the Office of Financial Aid.)
Contact Admission & Aid
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1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041