The Gap Year

Deferred Admission Requests

At W&L, admitted students' requests to defer admission for a year are typically approved, provided the year is spent thoughtfully engaged in enriching activities. We do have a few policies and guidelines related to this:

  • Students requesting to defer admission must first reserve a spot in our student body with the required reservation deposit.
  • Requests to defer admission must be submitted in writing by June 15 and may be emailed to Students should submit a detailed proposal for how they will spend the academic year between high school and college (September to June). The proposal must account for the entirety of the upcoming academic year. Partial year proposals will not be approved.
  • Full-time study at another college will not be approved, nor will a post-graduate year of full time study at the high school level. Some exceptions might be granted, such as for language immersion or other academic or cultural programs abroad.
  • Deferring admission for up to two years might be possible in some circumstances, such as for required military service for non-US citizens or for religious missions.


If a gap year proposal is approved, the student and a parent or guardian must sign an agreement affirming their willingness to treat the deferral as a commitment to enroll at W&L the next fall. This precludes applying for admission to other colleges or reserving a spot in the class of any other college. In addition, recipients of W&L need-based financial aid must reapply for aid next year, since each year's financial aid process involves submitting updated family income information.

For questions about W&L's approach to gap year, contact us at

Office of Admissions

Gilliam House
19 Letcher Avenue
Lexington, Virginia 24450