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Frequently Asked Questions


Application Process

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

How can I apply? Admitted students will be able to log in to the application through the DGYP website.  They should also explore the application instructions before completing the application. Students wishing to defer their enrollment outside of the DGYP should request an independent gap year through their student portal.

Can I apply for to the DGYP 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.


DGYP Planning and Policies

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

What can be funded by the DGYP?

  • 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 DGYP?

  • 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 GoAbroad.com and GoOverseas.com 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.

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

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.

What happens if my DGYP 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 DGYP funding, students will be able to coordinate flights, visas, insurance and other necessary expenses to have a successful gap year.


Financial Support

Will applying for DGYP funding impact my chances of admission to Duke? No. Only admitted students are eligible to apply to the DGYP. However, we invite you to share your interest in a gap year on your application for admission to Duke. Note that applicants to the DGYP are not required to have indicated interest in gap year on their Duke application, nor are those who expressed interest in a gap year on their Duke application required to defer their enrollment.

How much funding will I receive? Students may request from $5000 to $15,000 in funding from the DGYP. 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.

Will this funding impact my financial aid package at Duke?  No. While you will need to reapply for financial aid for the following 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.

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.

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 DGYP funding, we ask that you think critically and creatively about your plans, anticipate costs, and explain your interest in these experiences.

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 DGYP funding.  With more funding, we are able to assist more students with their gap years.

If you have further questions, please contact us at dukegapyear@duke.edu.