Gap Year Policy

The Ohio State University’s gap year policy allows an applicant to delay his or her 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 medical reasons.

A student who takes a gap year does not need to submit a new application to Under­graduate Admissions as long as he or she enrolls no later than one year after the original application term. However, students who have changes to their application information (enrollment at another school, felony, disciplinary issues at another school, etc.) must contact Undergraduate Admissions to update their information.

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


Freshman applicants (U.S. residents) 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. Complete the gap year application (request one from Undergraduate Admissions) by August 1 prior to the start of the original term of admission

  2. Provide documentation showing request is legitimate

  3. Pay the $100 acceptance fee by May 1 prior to the original term of admission

  4. Have your high school send final transcripts to Ohio State at the end of your senior year of high school

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

If approved to take a gap year, students retain freshman admission status along with the following awards and designations if offered for the original term of admission:

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

  • Honors or Scholars status

Students must submit a new FAFSA and/or Application for Special Scholarships prior to their new term of enrollment.