Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences - Lewis & Clark

Interested in taking a gap year before college?

Lewis & Clark College fully supports the choice of many admitted students to take a year off between high school and college. An increasingly popular option, gap or bridge years allow students to pursue an array of activities and experiences during their time off. These options may include travel opportunities, work experiences, volunteering within your community, assisting family members, conducting research, or engaging in specialized training.   

“During my bridge year, I did community development work in Argentina, taught English to monks in Thailand, and participated in a three month study abroad program on a sailboat… Academia has become personalized in ways I never imagined… College has been transformed into the pursuit of truth and pure understanding in order to go back out into the world with a stronger heart and mind.”   Aaron Flaster ’13

Many students entering Lewis & Clark following a gap or bridge year often find their time off has been beneficial for self-development and renewal of academic fervor:

“I decided to take a gap year because I needed to spend time pursuing new paths before jumping back into school… my sense of independence was making me itch to set out and explore my interests in my own ways: I volunteered on an organic farm in Portugal and later worked a full-time job in San Francisco… I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to take a gap year… My thirst for knowledge has been reignited and I am only more inspired by the wealth of possibilities that the future holds.”  Kate Barhydt ’14

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has prepared some helpful information to assist you in considering a gap or bridge year.

The late entry process at L&C is simple:

1. Please review our late entry policy statement and call our office if you have questions regarding your gap or bridge year.

2. Requests for late entry must be submitted and approved by the Office of Admissions. 

3. Submit your Admitted Student Reply Form (indicating your request to defer your enrollment) and your initial non-refundable deposit, postmarked by:

  • January 15, 2021 for Early Decision students
  • May 1, 2021 for Early Action and Regular Decision applicants
  • June 1, 2021 for transfer students

4. Review and submit the Late Entry Policy Statement on your Pioneer Portal.

5. Keep us apprised of your activities and preferred contact information. We’ll keep in touch with you and/or your family during your year off so you don’t miss any information for incoming students.

A few things to keep in mind:

A second non-refundable deposit will be due by January 15th of the year you plan to enroll. Both tuition deposits will be applied to your account toward the fall bill.

If you have applied for need-based financial aid, you will need to submit a new FAFSA by November 1, 2021.

A student deferring their enrollment to the next academic year remains eligible for merit-based scholarships:

  • Trustee, Presidential, Dean’s, Faculty, and Pioneer Award recipients will receive their same awards the following year.
  • Neely Scholarship recipients must compete with candidates for the new academic year.
  • Music, Speech & Debate, and Entrepreneurship Scholarship recipients must also reapply for their talent-based awards and compete with candidates for the new academic year.

Please contact the Admissions Office at 503-768-7040 for information about deferring your enrollment.