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Deferring Enrollment for First-Year Students

If you have been offered admission for fall of 2021 as a first-year student to Drexel, you may request to defer your enrollment for one full year (starting in September of 2022) or until the winter term (starting in January of 2022). If your request is approved and you meet the requirements listed below, you do not have to submit a new admissions application.

Reasons for Requesting an Enrollment Deferral

Admitted students may request a deferral based on one of the following circumstances:

  • Military or public service
  • Extraordinary full-time travel, volunteer service, or work opportunity
  • Illness (whether self or immediate family member) validated by a doctor's written confirmation
  • Cultural enrichment opportunity
  • Extenuating circumstances related to external forces beyond one's control

Please note that requests based on the following circumstances will be denied:

  • Financial hardship
  • Enrolling or completing coursework at another higher educational intuition

How to Request a Deferral

The deadline to submit a deferral request is September 1.

In order to request a deferral, a student must:

  • Confirm enrollment by May 1 via Discover Drexel — this includes submitting the non-refundable $300 tuition deposit (you do not need to submit the $200 Housing deposit at this point).
  • Once your confirmation is processed, select the button below to log in and submit a request to defer your enrollment.

Your request will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and a decision will be sent to you via email.

The deadline to defer for 2021–22 has passed, please contact Admissions at 1.800.2.DREXEL for assistance.

Financial Aid

Students who request a deferral will remain eligible for any original institutional scholarships or grant funding offered to them in their financial aid package for one year. However, U.S. citizens and permanent residents will need to complete a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be re-evaluated for federal and state financial aid.

Calendar for Deferred Students

May 1, 2021 Deadline to confirm enrollment and submit tuition deposit — only confirmed students can submit a request to defer.
September 1, 2021 Deadline to submit request for a deferral.
October 1, 2021 The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will become available to submit for the upcoming 2022 academic year (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only).
November 2021 Provide Drexel with an update on your gap year activities and how they are progressing by email at
December 2021 Drexel will reinstate your financial aid package, which can be found in your Discover Drexel portal.
January 3, 2022  Classes start for students who deferred to winter quarter.
January 15, 2022 Re-confirm your enrollment via Discover Drexel. You do not need to re-submit the tuition deposit; if you will be living in University housing, you will be required to submit the $200 housing deposit.
Spring 2022 Attend one of the Admitted Student events to re-orient yourself with Drexel.
April – September 2022 You will receive information about preparing to start at Drexel on such topics as housing, dining, placement exams, health insurance and immunizations, financial aid, billing, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I defer for more or less than one year?

When you decide to defer and submit the proper documentation, the committee meets to discuss each situation on a case-by-case basis. If the deferral is approved, the deferral is valid for one year only unless you requested to defer until the winter quarter (not all majors offer a winter deferral). Please note, if you wish to extend your deferral period beyond what is initially approved, you will need to contact Admissions; depending upon on your start date, a second deferral may require you submit a new CSS Profile.

Will I be re-evaluated for financial aid if I defer?

If you are approved for a gap year, then your institutional financial aid will not change from the package originally offered at the time of your admission — this includes Drexel need-based grants, merit scholarships, affiliated scholarships, and any other Drexel funding. Please note that financial aid packages will only be held for one year, and if you request a second deferral year, you will be re-evaluated for financial aid.

Eligibility for federal and state financial aid may change as a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required each year students attend Drexel. You are encouraged to complete a new FAFSA as soon as possible once it becomes available on October 1, 2022.

What happens if I take college courses while on my gap year?

Drexel University understands that students may want to take classes in order to keep up with their academic skills. Therefore, Drexel permits students to take up to two college classes per term at maximum. These credits will be considered non-matriculated classes and you will still enroll as a first-year student and not a transfer student. We suggest taking general courses such as English and math. It is under the discretion of the academic advisor for your program to accept these courses.

Will Drexel send me any information during my gap year?

Yes, Drexel University will remain in contact with you during your deferral period. We also encourage you to reach out to us and give us insight on how your year is going, what experiences and opportunities you are participating in, and to re-confirm your intentions for the following fall quarter. We will also be in contact with your parents/guardians during this time. We ask that you re-confirm your enrollment via Discover Drexel by January 15, 2022.

Can I change my major or co-op option during my gap year?

In most cases, you are still eligible to change your major or co-op option. Your application and materials will be re-evaluated for the new program/major you are requesting. If your change of major request cannot be approved, we will still honor your admission into your original program. Changes to your major will not affect the financial aid package you were originally awarded.

When do I take my placement exams?

You will be notified via email to log in to Drexel One during the summer before you enroll to take your placement exams. If you have previously taken your placement exams and then defer afterwards, you will have to take new placement exams to better reflect where you stand academically after your gap year.

Am I still eligible to join the Honors Program after a gap year since I was granted admission during my initial offer?

Yes, your offer still stands with the Honors Program for the following year.

How will I secure housing after my gap year?

After taking a gap year, you will receive email communications to complete the housing application during the spring prior to your fall start. This application will be available through DrexelOne after you have paid your $200 non-refundable housing deposit. There are many residential buildings to choose from with a two-year residency requirement for both first-year and second-year students unless they live within a reasonable commuting distance.

I was admitted provisionally to Drexel University with a requirement to complete the University Preparation (UPrep) program through the English Language Center (ELC). Do I still need to complete UPrep if I defer my offer of admission?

Yes, your offer of admission is based on successful completion of the UPrep program. If you defer your enrollment at Drexel, you will be required to successfully complete UPrep prior to the start of your first term of classes. Please note, students admitted provisionally with UPrep are only eligible for full year deferrals.