Why Would Someone Request a University Deferral?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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After spending countless hours acquiring recommendation letters, researching colleges, and filling out applications, it can be surprising when a student asks for a university deferral, which is defined as requesting that his or her spot be held for a predetermined time at the school to which he or she has been accepted. There are numerous reasons why a person may decide to delay attending school, with one of the most common being the need or desire for a break from structured education. In many cases, a student may also need time to save up money for tuition, living expenses, or both, and sometimes family or personal issues may come up that make a student feel like he or she needs to stay close to home.


One of the most common reasons for a student requesting a university deferral is the need for a break from schooling. For many individuals, the two to three years leading up to attending an institution of higher learning are incredibly stressful. Most work hard at academics, athletics, and the application process itself to ensure that they have the best chance at getting into their top-choice school. Upon receiving an acceptance letter, a student may feel the need to take some time to recuperate or even mature further before going out on his or her own to university. Requesting a deferral after he or she has secured an open spot ensures that none of his or her hard work goes to waste, providing time to relax, travel, or experience living on his or her own without the added stress of classes.

University can be expensive, even if a student does not have to pay tuition. For this reason, many will request a university deferral so that they can work full time to save money for supplies, living expenses, and the tuition itself. Doing so can relieve a lot of the stress that the student experiences once he or she officially starts classes, providing him or her with a nest egg or a down payment on their tuition, and potentially making it possible for him or her to only work part-time while in class. In the long run, this can have an overall positive effect on the student’s academic performance and emotional well-being.

In some cases, family or personal problems may make it impossible or improbable for a student to start classes when he or she should. The actual cause of this request for a university deferral varies drastically by person. Generally, whatever the circumstances are, they cause the student to feel like his or her presence is needed more elsewhere or that he or she will not be able to focus on school. Requesting a university deferral can provide him or her with the time to handle personal matters while still having the opportunity to continue on with his or her education.


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