Some students wish to defer a college acceptance because they want to take a year to pursue their sport or some other activity before attending college full-time. That’s great, and colleges usually think highly of a student who has the extra year or maturity and life experience before attending the school.
Keep this in mind, though: most colleges want a commitment from you before they will hold a spot in the next year’s class. They typically require you to put down the initial deposit and ask that you request the deferral in writing, with an explanation of your plans.
Call the admissions office first and ask about their deferral policy, and do not decline acceptance to any other schools unless you know the deferral policy of the school you wish to attend.
Here’s a sample letter requesting a deferral:
Date of Birth
Dear Admissions Officer:
I am writing to request a deferral of my admission to College/University Name for [one year, one semester, etc. – no more than one year]. Next year I plan to [compete for the U.S. Luge National Team, play competitive junior hockey in Idaho, travel through Europe, be an AmeriCorps Volunteer in New York City, etc.], and I know that opportunity will be a very rewarding experience.
Thank you very much for your consideration.