This deferral policy applies to incoming summer/fall 2021 students and later.

What is a deferral? 

A deferral is a formal request by a confirmed student to change their anticipated entry term at CU Boulder. If granted, deferrals are only valid for up to one year. 

What you will retain by deferring: 

  • Admission into the program to which you have been admitted.
  • If you paid your $200 confirmation deposit, it will be retained and apply towards your new entry term. It will not be refunded.  
  • Scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions (Chancellor’s Achievement, Presidential, CU Boulder Esteemed scholarships, and Arts and Humanities). All other awards do not carry forward. 
  • Admission to the Arts & Sciences Honors Program and Leeds Honors Program.  

What you lose by deferring: 

  • First year live in will not apply if you are deferring for a year. If you are deferring only to spring, first-year students are still required to live in. Housing eligibility for non-first year students is determined from year to year.
  • Your confirmation deposit will be forfeited should you fail to enroll by the expiration of your deferral term. 
  • Any scholarships not awarded by the Office of Admissions. 
  • If you have been admitted as a first year student: should you take college courses elsewhere during your deferral period, your status will be changed to a transfer student. Your offer of admission may be subject to being rescinded if the grades you earn in your college coursework elsewhere reflect poor academic performance. 
  • Invitation to honors programs not listed above may be in jeopardy. We recommend reaching out to the director of any honors programs you have been invited to (aside from Leeds Honors and the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, as those offers are retained during the deferral period) and discussing your options, if any, to retain your spot in the respective honors program.  
  • The ability to appeal for an automatic consideration scholarship. Your credentials for these awards are locked based on the information on hand with the Office of Admissions at the time of your deferral.

  • How do I defer my admission?
    You can request to defer your enrollment for up to one year by using the term change form on your application status page. Fill out with the term to which you would like to be deferred, the reason(s) for the deferral and what you will be doing during the deferment period.

  • How long can I defer my admission? 
    Students can defer for up to one year from their initial term of admission. i.e. from fall 2022 up to fall of 2023.  

  • When is the last day to defer? 
    We accept deferrals up until 5:00 PM MT on the first day of classes for the term to which you have been admitted. Note that summer admits have until the first day of fall term classes to defer.  

  • I'm not ready to confirm, so does that mean I have to reapply later?
    If you are not approved for a deferral request, and determine you would like to attend CU Boulder in a future term, you will need to reapply for admission at that time.

  • I paid my confirmation deposit already. Do I get the deposit back if I defer? 
    No. However, the confirmation deposit carries forward to the term to which you have deferred. If you do not attend CU Boulder by the time your deferral expires, you forfeit the deposit.

  • If I don’t attend CU Boulder by the expiration of my deferral, but I still want to come in the future, how does that work? 
    You will need to reapply for admission using the transfer application (if you earned a letter grade in at least one college course since graduating from high school), or through the Common Application (if you have not earned a letter grade at least one college course since graduating from high school).

  • Can I take courses at another college/university during my deferral period? 
    Yes. You will be required to submit your final, official transcript(s) from the college or university where you attempted any coursework during your deferral period prior to starting classes at CU Boulder.

    If you are applying or have been admitted as a first-year student: receipt of your final transcript(s) showing any college coursework taken since earning your high school diploma or equivalent, means you will be re-classified as a transfer student upon enrolling at CU Boulder. Please note that this may impact your eligibility for on-campus housing, course registration window, and/or academic advisor assignment.

  • Can I transfer credit from courses I am taking while deferred? 
    Yes. We will evaluate your courses for credit and update your degree audit upon receipt of your official college transcript(s) from the institution(s) you attended during your deferral. Note, however, that if you were admitted as a first-year applicant and you take college courses during your deferral your status will be updated to transfer student upon the receipt of the official transcripts. 

  • How will I know if the courses I am taking will transfer? 
    The Office of Admissions partners with Transferology - a transfer planning and online credit resource for applicants and students. You can create an account; enter the courses you are looking at completing and see how CU Boulder may accept the credits. 

    • If I am reclassified as a transfer student, will I lose Office of Admissions awarded scholarships? 
      No, if you are reclassified as a transfer student you will not lose any merit scholarships offered by the Office of Admissions at the time of admission. These are the only scholarships that carry forward. All other scholarships must be reapplied to and students may no longer be eligible to apply for some of those scholarships if their classification changes. 

    • What happens to my financial aid and scholarships if I defer admission? 
      Financial Aid

      If you defer admission to the spring semester of the same school year, your financial aid offer will still be available. You must contact admissions about deferring and accept your financial aid in the student portal in order to keep it.

      If you defer admission to the following school year, any grants, loans and work-study you were offered will be canceled. To be considered for financial aid when you return, you will be required to complete a new FAFSA.

      Scholarships offered by the Office of Admissions carry forward, but you must officially request deferral through Admissions in order to retain it.

      Scholarships offered through the CU Boulder Scholarship Application will be cancelled. If deferring to Fall term, you may reapply through the scholarship application for that year when it reopens beginning November 1.

      Individual college and private scholarships may have their own requirements for deferment, so you should check with the scholarship provider for details. For university scholarships, please review the scholarship terms and conditions for information on deferment.

    • Can I submit new information to appeal for or be reconsidered for Office of Admissions awarded automatic consideration merit scholarships? 
      No. New information will not be accepted. The deadline to submit new information for fall/summer first-year students is May 1st of the year of initial application. The deadline to submit new information for fall/summer transfer students is June 15th of the year of initial application. All incoming spring students have until December 20th of the initial year of application to be reconsidered for these scholarships.


    • How does the first-year live on requirement affect me? 
      If you are deferring to the spring semester, the live-on requirement will apply to you and you will need to apply for spring housing.

      If you are deferring to the following year, you may not be considered a first-year student and may not be eligible to apply for the residence halls.  University Housing will be able to share your status once you have confirmed your return to the university. Determination of this status changes from year to year based on housing availability.

    • Can I change my term if I have not yet been admitted?  
      Yes, you should submit the term change form on your application status page and your application will be reviewed as your new term approaches.  
    • What if I want to change my major?  
      If you have already been admitted, then your admission to the University and to that program will be honored for up to one year, without needing to reapply or be reevaluated. If you would like to pursue a different major than the one to which you were originally admitted, you should submit a major change request form on your application status page. Admission to any other major is not guaranteed.

    For more information on how to defer your admission, visit our next steps page.