Gap Year Policy

The Ohio State University’s gap year policy allows applicants to delay their admission for one year. This policy grants applicants the flexibility to take advantage of unique opportunities that will enrich the Ohio State community once the applicant is on campus or allows delay of enrollment for documented reasons (see "Eligibility" below).

A student who is approved to take a gap year does not need to submit a new application to Under­graduate Admissions as long as they enroll no later than one year after the original application term. However, students who have changes to their application information (enrollment at another school, felony or disciplinary issues at another school, etc.) must contact Undergraduate Admissions to update their information, and may be required to reapply.

Failure to follow the guidelines established in this policy can result in the loss of first-year student status, scholarships or admission to Ohio State.


First-year applicants who are admitted to autumn semester and have paid their acceptance fee are eligible to apply. A gap year is granted from autumn semester of one year to the following autumn semester.

Reasons for a gap year

Students can request a gap year for the following reasons:

  • Military or public service

  • Unique travel or work opportunity

  • Illness substantiated by a doctor’s written confirmation

  • Cultural enrichment opportunity

Students cannot take a gap year to enroll in another college or university or to participate in a program that earns college credit.

How to apply for a gap year

  1. Students admitted to the Columbus campus must pay the $100 acceptance fee by May 1 May 15 prior to the original term of admission. Regional campus students must pay the fee by August 1 prior to the original term of admission.

  2. Contact Undergraduate Admissions for a Gap Year Request Form. The form will ask for a personal statement explaining your reason for requesting a gap year. You may be asked to submit additional documentation in support of the request.

  3. Have your high school send final transcripts to Ohio State at the end of your senior year, and no later than August 1.

  4. Complete all steps and submit the request form by August 1 prior to the original term of admission.

Once a gap year request has been submitted and reviewed, the student will be notified by email if it has been accepted or declined.

Retaining admission

Confirmation deadline

If you're approved to take a gap year, we will email to confirm your intention to enroll autumn semester. We'll use the address you provided on the request form. Columbus campus students must confirm by May 1 prior to the new term of admission. Regional campus students must confirm by August 1 prior to the new term of admission.

New status

Upon your return for autumn semester, you will retain first-year student admission status along with the following awards and designations, if offered for the original term of admission:

  • Merit scholarships at the value of the award for the original term of admission (this includes Morrill Scholarship Program scholarships)

  • Honors or Scholars status

Students must file a new FAFSA and complete the ScholarshipUniverse application prior to their new term of enrollment.


  • Columbus campus: Housing is guaranteed for gap year students. Most incoming first-years are required to live on campus for their first two years. Exemptions or exclusions from this policy must be approved by Housing and Residence Education.

  • Regional campuses: Housing is guaranteed to students attending the ATI campus. It is not guaranteed at Ohio State Marion, Mansfield, Lima or Newark.