Students admitted as first-years to Pomona may request to defer their enrollment or take a gap year before matriculating. Students interested in taking a gap year should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss their options or for help deciding whether to apply for admission before or after a gap year.
We do not approve requests to defer enrollment for less than one academic year or to attend Pomona part-time during a gap year. While deferring enrollment for one year is most common, requests for two-year deferrals will be considered under extraordinary circumstances, including multi-year religious obligations or mandated military service. Those requesting a medical deferral will need to provide documentation, as detailed below.
Students have until May 1 to request to defer their entry to the College. Requests should be accompanied or followed up by a gap-year proposal, submitted by May 8. Students requesting a medical deferral have until July 1 to submit their request.
Non-medical deferral requests can be made at the time of enrollment through the enrollment response form on the student’s portal. As long as the May 1st deadline has not passed, deferral requests can also be made by email and should be sent directly to Executive Assistant Gina Green at firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests are reviewed and approved individually by the Dean of Admissions. An accompanying or subsequent written plan outlining how the student will spend their gap year must be submitted as well (due by May 8). Non-medical deferral of admission involves several requirements:
- Students may not enroll in a degree program nor expect credit be granted for any courses taken while on a gap year.
- Should a student pursue academic courses at a university without enrolling in a degree program during their gap year, final grades must be submitted to the Office of Admissions. Academic performance that is not consistent with previous performance achieved at the time of admission may result in a review of the student's offer of admission.
- Students who defer enrollment must submit the non-refundable enrollment $500 deposit, with the commitment that the student will enroll at Pomona and will initiate no new applications to other colleges or universities. In accepting this deposit, Pomona College will guarantee the student’s place for the following academic year as a full-time, first-year student.
- The student must reconfirm their intention to enroll for the fall semester by February 1 through their applicant portal. An email will be sent to the student in January to provide portal access to reconfirm enrollment. Upon receipt of this, the Dean of Admissions will confirm their entry in the class.
- If the student intends to apply for financial aid from Pomona College for the academic year of enrollment, he or she must contact the Office of Financial Aid and submit financial aid forms by Jan. 15.
- Deferral requests are not granted automatically. A written plan must be approved by the Dean of Admissions prior to approval of a request to defer or take a gap year.
- Typical proposals are 300-400 words in length and provide details on what students expect to do during their gap year. Some students invent their own experience and engage in several different pursuits over the course of the year. Others find a full-time internship, meaningful work experience, local service opportunity or other type of year-long pursuit connected to a third-party organization. There is no formula. Proposals should clearly state how the gap year will be structured (from September to May with appropriate breaks throughout the year).
- Finally, we know sometimes plans change during a gap year. When unexpected issues arise, it is expected that students will find solutions and consult the Office of Admissions to ensure new/altered plans align with Pomona’s expectations of gap-year students. Flexibility and grace will guide the approval of new plans when things fall through, but it is expected that students will follow up and consult the Office of Admissions as soon as possible should plans change.
Requests to defer admission for medical reasons are handled differently than gap-year requests for non-medical reasons. Students with medical reasons for requesting to defer their admission may make their request any time after they are offered admission, up to July 1. In requesting a medical deferral, students are asked to submit medical documentation (a letter from a doctor), which includes a treatment plan. Please direct requests for medical deferrals to Executive Assistant Gina Green at email@example.com.