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Gap Year

Dartmouth fully supports students taking a gap year, also known as a service year, to travel, work, or pursue other interests. Many of our students have accomplished great things, expanded their experiences, and revived their hunger for learning during a gap/service year.

Gap/service years are becoming more and more common

Thinking of taking a gap or service year before enrolling? If you've been accepted to Dartmouth, this step-by-step guide explains how to make it happen.

Dartmouth believes that a service year in-between high school and college is beneficial for the students that participate and provides numerous benefits to the communities served. Dartmouth also believes that getting more individuals involved in service programs will have a positive effect on the civic health of our society. As a result, Dartmouth is committed to helping pre-matriculated students learn about their opportunities to get involved. Dartmouth recently partnered with the Franklin Project, the Aspen Institute’s national service policy program that seeks to make a year of national service — a service year — a common opportunity, cultural expectation and new civic right of passage. To learn more about the Franklin Project and their partners visit their website.

Organizations listed below, with whom we have service year relationships with, may be of interest to and accept applications from pre-matriculated Dartmouth Students. If you are interested in any of the organizations below, please apply as directed.

New Hampshire AmeriCorps

Campus Compact for New Hampshire

AmeriCorps NCCC

Teach For America

City Year

Peace Corps

Equal Justice Works

Community Health Corps

Food Corps

Jesuit Volunteer Corps


College Advising Corps

Citizen Schools

Public Allies


  1. Confirm your intent to enroll at Dartmouth by the deadline.
  2. Email the Assistant to the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid by June 1. Your email should outline your reasons for postponing your enrollment and plans for your gap/service year.
  3. You will receive an email letting you know if we need any additional information. An official response from the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid will grant your request. Allow 2 weeks for processing gap/service year requests.
  4. Go gap. Serve your world. Take a job or internship, pursue a dream, help the world be a better place, help your family or others in need. It’s your gap year. Make the most of it.
  5. Re-apply for financial aid. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application is available October 1st, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), January 1st. Visit Dartmouth's financial aid website for application instructions and requirements. If your family's financial circumstances are similar to when you originally applied, you can anticipate a similar parent contribution to that originally offered. Please be advised, though, that if there are any changes to Dartmouth's financial aid policies, it may impact your award and/or eligibility. Please note that your eligibility for financial aid—and level of demonstrated need—will be based on the new information you provide to us when you reapply for aid.
  6. While on your gap/service year, you'll need to update us as soon as possible after January 1 to reaffirm your commitment to join the newest matriculating Dartmouth class. We'll also want to know more about your experiences and undertakings during your gap/service year.

Gap/Service-Year Facts & Fine Print

  • Admitted students who postpone their enrollment may not apply to any other colleges or universities during their gap/service year.
  • Postponed enrollment for two years will be permitted for obligatory national/military service.
  • The Admissions Committee reserves the right to review the status of any admitted student, including those on a gap/service year, and to rescind its offer of admission if a student's academic and personal record does not remain satisfactory in all respects.
  • The American Gap Association defines a gap year as: "A structured period of time when students take a break from formal education to increase self-awareness, learn from different cultures, and experiment with possible careers. Typically these are achieved by a combination of traveling, volunteering, interning, or working." Visit the American Gap Association website for inspiration and advice on how to spend your gap year.
  • If there are any policy changes at the College, they will apply to you as a member of your matriculating class.