Deferring Enrollment

A gap year 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 a year off between high school and enrolling as a first-year at Oxy.

Here's how the deferral process works:

Deferral requests must be granted by the Office of Admission.

A request to defer admission for one year must be made by completing this form. The Office of Admission will review the request and notify the student in writing. Deferrals are not available to incoming transfer students.

Deferrals are granted for one year. 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 non-refundable deposit to hold a place at Occidental.
  • The student may not submit deferral deposits or hold spaces at any other institutions.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • The student is required to reconfirm their intention to enroll for Fall 2021 no later than Feb. 1, 2021. Instructions on how to reconfirm will be sent via email in January 2021.
  • If the student is a financial aid recipient, they must submit new financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile) by Feb. 1, 2021, 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 Financial Aid Office.)