Seattle Pacific understands the need for some students to postpone the start of their college career. A gap year between high school graduation or completing community college studies and four-year college matriculation can be used for travel, mission work, saving for college costs, taking care of family, etc. We understand there can be great benefit for some students to take this time. For this reason, Seattle Pacific allows admitted first-year and transfer students to request a gap year or gap quarter. Once the request is granted, students have secured admission for their intended future term.

Process & Timeline 

In order to request a gap year, students will need to email their admissions counselor. If a deposit was paid and the refund date has not passed, the enrollment deposit will be refunded. If the refund deadline has passed, the deposit will be forfeited, and the student will need to repay once they are ready to take next steps with SPU. 

We will only grant a gap year for students starting in an immediate future term (winter or spring quarter of the academic year they applied for) or for fall of the next academic year. If the student intends to start later than the next fall term, they will need to cancel their application and reapply. 

To request deferment, first-year students must request by the enrollment decision deadline of May 1*. If a request is made past that date, your enrollment deposit is forfeited. 

In addition, students must submit an official final high school transcript, with graduation date posted, by August 1. Transfer students must submit any official college-level transcript by September 1. 

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Current policy: We do not hold any scholarships and financial aid year to year. You will be reviewed again based on our financial aid and scholarship plan for the new academic year. 

Financial aid and scholarships we cannot guarantee for the next year include but are not limited to: Faith for the Future Merit Scholarship, In-State Matching Merit Scholarship, SPU Merit Scholarship, Falcon Legacy Award, Ames Award, Reimann-Thomas Scholarship, FIRST Scholarship, Distinguished Scholars Award, Summit Seekers Award, Fine and Performing Arts, National Merit Scholarship, engineering scholarships, ROTC Room and Board Award, athletic awards, SPU Cares Emergency Grant, non-renewable Director’s Grant, and federal and state financial aid. 

You must file the FAFSA by November 1.

Honors and Direct Admission to Major

First-year students admitted directly to a major will retain direct admission. The same holds true for transfer students, except for direction admission to the Nursing program.

We will hold admission to the University Scholars Honors program for gap-year students. You must contact us to let us know you plan to stay in the honors program in your new starting term. 

College Courses during Deferment 

Current policy: If a first-year student completes college courses during their deferment period, we will hold admission, but your status will change from incoming first-year student to a transfer student, and you will be given scholarships and aid according to that new status. This may decrease the aid awarded by SPU. We recommend speaking with your admissions counselor about the best choice for you.  This does not affect transfer students who take additional college credit during this time.

Students interested in requesting a gap year should contact their admissions counselor or Final official high school transcripts and college-level transcripts must be submitted to or mailed to: 

Undergraduate Admissions 

Seattle Pacific University 

3307 Third Ave W 

Seattle, WA 98119. 

Last updated: 4/1/21

Previously updated: 7/28/20