Coronavirus And Deferred College Admission

Friday, May 22, 2020

Some high school students may intend to defer admission due to uncertainty about the college experience prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and the prospect of continued social distancing measures continue to cast a haze of uncertainty with regards to the future of U.S. colleges and universities, many students are wondering if they should take chances and defer college for a semester or even a full year.

According to U.S. News, a recent survey finds that of respondents who think about changing their plans to enroll at a four-year college, 17% are weighing a delayed enrollment until Spring 2021 and another 16% are thinking about taking a full gap year. These findings may not be such a surprise with the great uncertainty looming for what the fall semester will look like as the pandemic continues. Students and their parents are also feeling reluctant to spend the fall term in online classes only.

Some colleges and universities have already announced plans to try and bring college students back to campus next fall, but others have declared that the coming semester will most likely be nearly all online. Colleges continue with uncertainty as they make decisions.

For these reasons and more, students and their parents are considering deferred admission as an option for the upcoming school year.

What exactly is deferred admission?

The National Association for College Admission Counseling defines deferred admission as “an opportunity for a student who has been admitted to delay or defer enrollment for a year or a semester.”

“A deposit is often required by the college to hold a place in the next class, and it is the college’s right to expect the student to account for the time spent between graduation from high school and matriculation at the college.” Furthermore, a student is expected not to attend another college in that time without specific permission from the deferred admission school.

Students usually look to college as a transformative experience where they will be challenged academically and stretched emotionally. New college students are looking to experience life from a new perspective and build meaningful new relationships. As such, online college may not be as initially appealing to many students.

What are questions that students should think about if they are considering deferred acceptance?
  • Can the college or university meet my financial needs?
  • Will the college or university accept my deferral request?
  • How will this affect my career and graduate school goals and timelines?
  • What else can I do if I don’t attend college in the fall?

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