Frequently Asked Questions


If you have further questions beyond what is outlined below, please contact us as


Who can apply for the Duke Gap Year Program? Anyone admitted as a first-year student to Duke, both through the Early Decision and Regular Decision process, is eligible to apply to the Duke Gap Year Program.

Will applying for the Duke Gap Year Program funding impact my admissions decision?  No. While we encourage you to consider a gap year during your senior year, we will only accept applications for our Gap Year Program from admitted students.

How can I apply? Admitted students will be able to log in to the application through the Duke Gap Year Program website.  They should also explore the application instructions before completing the application.

Can I defer my enrollment and not join the Program? Yes. Students wishing to defer their enrollment independent of the should request a gap year through their student portal.

Am I committed to taking a gap year by applying? No. You are not committed to taking a gap year until after you have received the outcome of your application and have formally agreed to defer your enrollment.

How much funding will I receive? Students may request up to $15,000 in funding from the Duke Gap Year Program. Funding is limited and priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need and have well-developed gap year plans that meet the aims of the program.

What can be funded by the Duke Gap Year Program?

  • Unpaid internships and work-placement opportunities
  • Community service and civic engagement
  • Personalized experiential learning opportunities
  • Combinations of the above
  • Established gap year programs

What cannot be funded by the Duke Gap Year Program?

  • Mandatory military or religious service
  • Paid work
  • Personal business initiatives or start-ups
  • Medical deferments

Where can I find a list of established Gap year programs? There are a number of resources to find established gap year programs. The Gap Year Association has a list of accredited programs, while websites like and have reviews of different options. While doing an established program is recommended (as it is easier for you logistically) you are not required to participate in one.

Can I apply for to the Duke Gap Year Program before I know if I’ve been admitted to an established gap year trip? Yes. We know that deadlines for established gap year programs may vary. However, you should know which program you are considering and are able to share that in your application.

Do I have to do an established gap year program to receive funding? No. Many students design their own gap year plans. To apply for the Duke Gap Year Program funding, we ask that you think critically and creatively about your plans, anticipate costs, and explain your interest in these experiences.

Can I enroll at another institution during my gap year? If you are deferring your enrollment at Duke, you may not apply to nor enroll full-time at any other institution during your gap year. Exceptions may be made for students who want to study at foreign university for the purposes of language and cultural studies, with approval from the DGYP.

Can I earn college credit during my gap year? No. While some established gap year programs may offer college credit, Duke will not accept this credit upon your enrollment.

Does the funding I receive have to last the entire year?  No. Some students may use the funding for a program lasting only four months, and then decide to do other projects for the rest of the year. Other students may spread out the funding for a 12-month experience. We ask you to outline your plans in the application.

Will this funding impact my financial aid package at Duke?  No. While you will need to reapply for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year, the funding award will not be considered by the Duke Financial Aid office. If you have received a merit scholarship from Duke, this will also be held for you until you enroll.

What happens if my Gap Year program plans fall through?  If the established program you anticipated participating in is no longer running or you are unable to attend, we will ask that you let us know immediately. Upon approval, the funding can then be used towards a new program or a different effort during your gap year. You may also decide to enroll at Duke in the fall. Significant changes to your gap year plans may result in the funding being altered or revoked.

Will Duke provide any support while I am on my Gap Year? Duke is unfortunately unable to provide logistical support to students before they have enrolled at Duke. Our hope is that with the funding from the Duke Gap Year Program, students will be able to coordinate flights, visas, insurance and other necessary expenses to have a successful gap year.

Will you help me with my application?  We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your application or the Duke Gap Year Program. However, we are unable to help you apply to established gap year programs.

If I win a scholarship to a program, do I need to tell Duke? Yes. We ask that you inform of us of any other funding sources that may lessen your need of the Duke Gap Year funding.  With more funding, we are able to assist more students with their gap years.