The Gap Year Experience

Typically, approximately 60 students elect to delay the start of their Colorado College education by designing and pursuing a year-long adventure of their own making. An additional 30 students admitted to our Winter Start program will embark on a personalized semester-long gap experience in the fall semester before reuniting with their classmates in January to enroll in their first block on campus.

If you're considering a year-long or semester-long gap experience, we are likely to support your gap request because we believe that making a difference in the lives of others will make a difference in your own personal and intellectual growth.

Read more about specific program options for your gap year around the world, and information about credit transfer from these opportunities, on our Winter Start page. We encourage you to write to us at if you don't find the information you need. 

The gap year option

CC students define their educational paths as lifelong journeys rather than an event that has a beginning when they arrive on campus and an ending when they graduate. While there are a multitude of personal reasons students cite for pursuing a gap experience, each tends to point to a quest for experiential learning that isn't found in the confines of a classroom. From accepting a structured public service role with a local organization to investigating global health and social problems abroad, the transformative lessons they learn and bring back to our campus will enrich the CC experience for all.

Students admitted under our Early Action, Early Decision, or Regular Action programs may submit a gap year request to delay their enrollment for one year. We will approve longer gap terms for purposes of national service or religious mission. Students admitted to the Winter Start Program are not eligible to apply for a gap year.

The Gap Year Request

Your gap year plan does not have to be in its final stage at the time you submit your request. Think of your gap year request as a thoughtful proposal that you genuinely intend to fulfill but which may require some modification(s) at a later date.

As you draft your proposed gap year plan, please let us know of your interest at We will then send you a form to complete online which will seek the following information:

  • Why you want to delay enrollment
  • Description of your gap year plan
  • Timeline of your gap year plan

The Approval

We will routinely approve any request provided you satisfy the following requirements.

  1. Express your gap interest at any time after receiving your admission notification.
  2. Submit your request on or before May 1 of the year you're admitted to Colorado College.
  3. Complete and submit your enrollment agreement form within the applicant portal.
  4. Submit the required enrollment deposit if required.
  5. You agree to enroll at Colorado College after you complete your gap year.
  6. As a condition of approval, you are not permitted to enroll as a degree-seeking student at a different college or university during your gap year.
  7. In the month of February of your gap year, you agree to complete an electronic survey acknowledging that you intend to enroll at Colorado College in the fall. Within that acknowledgement, we'll ask for an update of your gap year experience. After we receive your completed survey, you will receive confirmation of your guaranteed seat in the incoming first-year class.

Global Citizen Year

We believe that learning extends beyond the classroom, and that a well-designed, educational gap-year can help students find and pursue their passions. Our partnership with Global Citizen Year engages students in an immersive global gap-year program in Brazil, Ecuador, India, or Senegal. Global Citizen Year Fellows live with a host family and apprentice to a local organization working in education, health, or environmental sustainability. A number of Colorado College students have participated in the program and shared thoughtful testimonials about their experiences.

"As I head off to my first semester of college, I could not be more grateful for my experience in Ecuador as a Global Citizen Year Fellow. I will be entering this new phase of my life with more confidence in myself and my ability to be resilient. I have gained an understanding of the importance of compassion and cross-cultural connections. The lens through which I see the world has been completely transformed, and I feel empowered to continue to search for ways to challenge my perspective, positively impact my community, and use my voice to advocate for sustainable, effective change at both a local and global level throughout my academic career and beyond." - Maddi Schink '23

"By organizing a host family, cultural activities and an apprenticeship, Global Citizen Year allowed me to fully immerse myself in the Brazilian culture. In only eight months, I was able to learn Portuguese, which helped me build real connections with people in Brazil. Because of my gap-year, I am currently involved in the Spanish and Portuguese department at Colorado College, taking accelerated Portuguese classes, learning deeper about the Lusophone countries, and living in the Spanish and Portuguese language house. I feel like I built a home in Brazil and it is always going to be a part of me wherever I go in the world." - Patil Khakhamian '22

If you are interested in this opportunity, we encourage you to apply directly to Global Citizen Year, and indicate on your application that you are also applying to Colorado College. If you are accepted to both Colorado College and Global Citizen Year, Global Citizen Year will offer you a $5,000 merit scholarship in addition to considering you for their generous pool of need-based financial aid.

If you choose to become a Global Citizen Year Fellow, our Admissions team will defer your admission offer and financial aid package for one year to allow you to participate.

Financial Aid assistance

Need-based awards

Students approved for a gap year and awarded need-based financial aid must reapply for financial assistance by submitting these required forms by their published deadlines. Completing and submitting these forms will require careful planning and scheduling since the forms must be submitted while pursuing your gap year. Learn more about need-based financial aid options.

Merit-based Awards

In most cases, students selected for and awarded a Colorado College merit-based scholarship will have this merit-based award reinstated upon their enrollment at CC. We encourage you to inquire about your specific merit award by writing to the Financial Aid Office at


If you're interested in looking further into Financial Aid, please click on the buttons below, which will lead you to an overview of our Financial Aid process and take you through a Deeper Dive into how our Office of Financial Aid can assist you.

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/30/2022