what they want to see in a deferral letter, but generally, the more specific
the better. “We require students to demonstrate a concrete plan for their year
of how they are actually spending time,” explains Jason Tesone, Director of
Admissions at Vassar College. This means including the names of specific
programs or detailing an itinerary if you are not going through a program.
and what you hope to get out of it. Be honest about your reasons for taking
time out and describe how you want to grow as a person. Peter Osgood, an
admissions director at the University of Puget Sound adds, “We want them to
hone in on their personal goals…we don’t them to end up spending a year
watching reruns of bad tv shows.”
pages long, one page is completely sufficient,” says Tesone. Draft an email as
you would a formal letter and use about 4-6 beefy paragraphs to describe your
expect them to!” says Osgood. Most schools will not hold it against you if you decide
to do something different than what you outlined in your letter. University of
Puget Sound has Gap Year students check in the February before they start
college to update them on how their plans evolved. Check with your school to
see if they also require this step.
deferral have a firm deadline that usually falls between May-July. While there
doesn’t seem to be any benefit to rushing to get a deferral request in early,
you do have to meet the deadline for consideration.
benefits to students who have taken gap time. “We pretty much always grant
deferrals if they meet our criteria and find that students who take meaningful
time away arrive at Vassar as great students,” says Tesone.
From late June to early August this summer, I will live at home on the weekends and spend my weeks living as a backcountry trail crew member. My crew will restore trails on public lands in Northern Vermont with the Green Mountain Club. This is an exciting adventure of living in the woods for the first time, working and living extremely collaboratively and learning about stewardship of public lands. This work will generate some money to facilitate the next stages of my gap year.
Following my trail crew work, I will spend the fall on a leadership and outdoor education course with Woodlands Outdoor School. I will spend 80 days with my group navigating the terrain of the American Southwest while honing skills in orienteering and various outdoor pursuits. I am excited for the physical challenge of this experience and the personal development Woodlands will provide.
After the New Year, I plan to travel to in Costa Rica with the language immersion program, SICR. At SICR I will study Spanish and intern with a coffee export business. In addition to learning about international business concepts, I will get to see the life cycle of a product. I will be working on the coffee farms, witnessing the processing of the beans, and be involved in the final packaging and export of the finished product. This will nurture my interests in sustainable business practices and cross-cultural exploration.
In another year, I expect to be a more mature and engaged member of the Aplus community. I sincerely hope you will grant my deferral request and welcome me as a member of the Class of 2022.