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  • Deferred Enrollment

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    Don't worry if you're not ready to embrace college life immediately after high school. A lot of students feel like that. In fact, many colleges recognize this by allowing you to defer enrollment.

    When you defer, you are accepted and agree to enroll in school later (usually the subsequent semester or year).

    Why Students Defer Enrollment

    Students defer enrollment for many reasons. Some want to travel, others take community service jobs, others work to save money for school.

    It is a shrewd strategy to apply to college during high school, even if you aren't sure you want to go right away. That way, you'll be done with the legwork. When you're ready to continue your education, you'll have a spot at the college you want to attend.

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    The Process

    Every college has their own deferment process, but here's how it generally works: First, make a request in writing to the admissions office. Explain why you need time off (most schools require you to have a specific and substantive activity planned). Keep in mind that there's often a set deadline for making this request.

    Depending on the school, you can request between one semester and two years off. You will probably be required to hold your spot with a deposit.

    Some schools will want your deferment request with your application; others will have you wait until you've been accepted. You might be required to document your time spent away from school and present that information in writing when you return.

    Back to School

    Find out now what you will need to do when you begin college, whether it's registering for classes or signing up for freshman orientation programs. That way, you'll be sure not to miss any deadlines.

    One last thought: A college student who defers enrollment is still a college student. That status can help you gain access to internships and loads of interesting programs around the world. Take advantage of these opportunities, use your time away wisely and you'll return to school focused and refreshed.

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