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Gap Year Policy and Request

Purdue University’s gap year policy allows freshmen to delay enrollment for up to two years from their original entry term. 

If your gap year request is approved, you do not need to apply for admission to enroll the following year. If information provided in your admission application changes during your gap year (coursework at another college or university, choosing to no longer attend Purdue, etc.), you must contact the Office of Admissions to update your information. Students who have such changes to their original admission application or who submit final high school transcripts with a C- or below in the senior year, will be re-evaluated for admission. Students with an approved gap year must remain in their current college to retain their admission, merit scholarship and Honors College admission (if applicable).

Freshman applicants who are admitted for the fall semester and have accepted their offer of admission by the May 1 deadline may request a gap year. If your gap year is approved, you must enroll at Purdue in the semester your gap year was approved for. The deadline to request a gap year is August 1, prior to your original enrollment term.

You may request a gap year for the following reasons:

  • Military or public service
  • Extraordinary, full-time travel, volunteer service or work opportunity
  • Illness validated by a doctor’s written confirmation
  • Cultural enrichment opportunity
  • Visa Processing Delays

Any admitted Purdue student who enrolls full-time at another college or university after their high school graduation must reapply for admission to Purdue as a transfer student. Students cannot have 12 or more college credits post-high school graduation to be eligible for a Gap Year.

  • Accept your offer of admission no later than May 1 (including payment of the required, nonrefundable $500 deposit).
  • Complete the gap year request form by August 1, prior to your gap year (available via the admission application portal to students who have accepted their admission offer).
  • Provide documentation supporting your request.
  • Have your high school send official, final transcripts to Purdue University at the conclusion of your senior year.

Once a gap year request has been submitted and reviewed, you will be notified by email whether or not it has been approved.

If your gap year is approved, your offer of admission will be deferred to the semester your gap year was approved for and you will be reinstated as an admitted student when we begin releasing freshman admission decisions. You will receive information from Purdue as if you were a newly admitted freshman, in addition to any information specifically for gap-year students. You will be asked to confirm enrollment in the spring before your enrollment year.

Following is information about what would "carry over" from your original admission year to your enrollment year. This is based on you maintaining your status as a first-time college student. remaining in the college you were originally admitted to and enrolling in the fall term immediately after your gap year:

  • Honors College and Residential Community — If you were invited to join the John Martinson Honors College and Residences and you accepted the invitation by the May 5 deadline of your original application year, the Honors College opportunity will be extended to your enrollment year. During your freshman year, if you live in on-campus student housing and are a member of the Honors College, you will be a member of the Honors College residential community as well.
  • University-Wide Scholarships — If you received any of the following Purdue scholarships, you will retain the award at its original value: Presidential, Trustees, Emerging Leaders, Beering, Stamps.

During your gap year, as you're planning for Purdue enrollment, you should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15 (the FAFSA for aid that will be applied to your Purdue enrollment year becomes available in December of your gap year). You should also be aware of deadlines for applications that might be required to be considered for scholarships awarded by your Purdue college or academic department. The Division of Financial Aid (DFA) and the DFA website are the best sources for that information.

Failure to follow the guidelines established in this policy can result in the loss of freshman status, scholarships and/or admission to Purdue University.

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