“Suppose I want to defer….”
Congratulations! You’ve made it into medical school! All your hard work has paid off, and you’re free of stress for the first time in years.
Not exactly. Maybe you’re feeling more than a little burned out with the school scene. Maybe you’re thinking about the travel and study abroad opportunities you passed up in favor of medical school preparations. Maybe you think you ought to make some money before you incur another four years’ worth of debt.
Requesting to defer your enrollment seems the obvious answer to your problem, but it might not be possible. There is no uniform policy among the schools on deferred matriculation. Some schools are very generous, granting a year’s deferment for any reason and longer periods for specific reasons (such as the Peace Corps, which requires a 2-year commitment). Others grant deferments only when there has been a significant, unforeseeable and fairly recent change in an applicant’s circumstances. Acceptable grounds include a serious illness or other emergency in the family, such as a parent’s job loss and a need for the applicant to contribute to the family’s income.
If you haven’t done so yet, look up your school’s policy on deferring and proceed accordingly. To readers who plan to apply next year, think about this issue now. You’ll have a full range of school choices available to you if you simply delay your application rather than apply sooner and limit yourself to schools with liberal deferment policies.