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How to Defer Your University Offer in Canada

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If you were planning on starting university in 2020, you may be facing feelings of uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Future students are concerned about their university courses starting as promised, and whether the shift to online learning will continue into the next academic year.

In this situation, it’s understandable if you feel that deferring your university place for another year and taking a ‘gap year’ before starting higher education is the right step for you. But how does deferring your university offer work in practice?

Deferring your university offer in Canada 

Gap years are still a relatively new phenomenon in Canada, but they’re rapidly gaining traction, with organizations like CanGap encouraging and guiding Canadian high school leavers.

Much like in the US, deferring your university offer in Canada differs on a school-by-school basis. However, the general process remains the same: you must first apply and get accepted by a university (meeting all the conditions of your offer) before putting in a request to defer your entry for a year. You must then get in contact with the university’s board of admissions for a deferred admission request form and outline your plans for your gap year. The admissions committee will then decide whether or not to grant your request.

For most Canadian universities, including the University of Waterloo and the University of British Columbia, the deadline for deferred entry requests is beginning to mid-August of the year you have applied.

If you’ve applied for financial aid or scholarships, it’s worth checking if these will still be valid when you’ve deferred entry for an academic year. You can find out more advice on scholarships and financial aid here.

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Written by Julia Gilmore
Julia is the Assistant Editor for TopUniversities, publishing articles for students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.

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