Many students benefit from taking a year between high school and starting college. Some students plan to participate in a formalized gap year program, while others choose to work or travel. Every year, we have a number of admitted students that take advantage of this opportunity.

If you are interested in deferring your enrollment to WPI, please complete the deferment request form and pay your non-refundable $500 deposit by the enrollment deadline to confirm your intention to enroll in the subsequent academic year.

Students will retain their merit scholarship, but will need to reapply for need-based financial aid by February 1. Please note students are not permitted to enroll at another university if deferring.

Terms for Deferrals:

  • The student may not submit deposits or hold spaces at any other institutions.
  • The student may not enroll on a full-time basis at another institution during the deferral period. Students who intend to matriculate full-time at another institution but desire to eventually enroll at WPI must apply for transfer admission for a future term. Current merit awards are not applicable to transfer admissions.
  • Financial aid: If you are interested in need-based financial aid, you will need to reapply for aid for the new term by completing the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE by February 1 during your deferral year.
  • Merit scholarships: If you received an academic merit scholarship, your award will also be deferred to the future entry term. If you did not receive a merit scholarship, you will not be reconsidered for awards in the next term alongside the new applicant pool.

Meet Students Who Enjoyed a Gap Year Experience

Sophia Porter, Class of 2020

The traditional path taken by most seniors after graduating from high school involves going to college a few months later, but Sophia Porter ’20 decided to take matters into her own hands and opted for a gap year instead. After working two jobs through the summer and fall months, Sophia funded her own trip through Europe and South America. During her time abroad, she participated in Carpe Diem Education, became fluent in Spanish, and figured out how best to manage herself and her resources, skills that will prove invaluable in college and beyond. “I learned that there is a lot I don’t know,” she says, “and nothing should be taken for granted.”

Thomas Ringer-Silva, Class of 2020

Taking a gap year might seem taboo, but it can often be an invaluable decision for high school graduates. After being accepted to WPI, Tomas Ringer-Silva ’20 opted to defer his enrollment and participate in a gap year. During that time, he had the chance to work with a nonprofit, improve his math skills, and get a handle on determining his own work-life balance, explaining that, “I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted and I rapidly learned how to use that freedom for my own good.” Whether you’re interested in traveling the world, discovering a new passion, or rekindling an old one, taking a gap year before college may be the perfect next step.