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Gap Year Requests


Requests to Defer Admission

We understand that many students are concerned about the uncertainty of this year and may be exploring the option of deferring their enrollment for a semester or year. While we are generally supportive of gap years that allow students to travel, grow, explore, and learn in new and different ways during an extended period of time before college, we are concerned that your options will be limited in this time of pandemic. The one thing you can do, and we’re going to make sure of it at Hamilton, is to stay on track with your educational goals and college aspirations. Hamilton will not let COVID-19 get in the way of learning, even if we need to alter some things to provide the best education we can to you. 


Let us worry about managing the short-term challenges related to this year’s COVID-19 disruptions while you stay focused on your future.


Hamilton’s normal gap year policy is in place for the current year. We encourage you to stay on your educational path in this time of uncertainty, and reach out to us if we can be helpful in talking through your options.

Hamilton’s Gap Year Policy

We are generally supportive of gap year requests and feel strongly that students who are seeking them should be encouraged to explore opportunities that are important to them before pursuing their Hamilton career. However, this option is not intended for students to further their admission options one year later. We are willing to hold a spot for a student in a subsequent year/class, but reserve this opportunity only for those who truly intend to enroll at Hamilton.

To apply for a deferral, you first need to be enrolled at Hamilton by having submitted your enrollment deposit by May 1. (If knowing whether your deferral request is likely to be approved is a factor in your decision to choose Hamilton, you are welcome to contact us in advance of submitting your deposit to discuss your potential options.)

Once enrolled (or concurrent with submitting your deposit), you should email Hamilton’s Dean of Admission, T. Peaches Valdes, with your reasons for requesting to defer your admission and your proposed plans for the gap year. All requests must be submitted by June 1. The admission committee will consider requests and get back to you by mid-June.

If approved, the conditions of your deferral are that you:

  • may not enroll in a degree program at another institution during the interim. (It’s okay to take college classes on a part-time basis, but the Admission Committee will, of course, review your grades in any college courses and revisit your candidacy based on your performance.)

  • will send us (by January 1 of your gap year) a personal essay describing your gap-year experiences to date.
  • will submit (by January 1 of your gap year) an additional deposit to hold your place in the following year’s class.

If you are applying for financial aid, you must also file the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the requested deadline during your gap year.

Please note that gap year requests are not available to transfer students or first-years admitted from Hamilton’s wait list.

Contact Information

Office of Admission

Siuda House
Campus Road
Clinton, NY 13323
800-843-2655 315-859-4457 admission@hamilton.edu
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