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Deferred and Gap-Year Students

We’re thrilled to have you join Northwestern as a member of the Class of 2028! This page includes information just for students who deferred their enrollment from a previous year and have not completed any courses at Northwestern.

Purple Prep Checklist

To ensure a successful start to the upcoming academic year, and because no two academic years are alike, you are expected to complete your full Purple Prep Checklist regardless of task completion in previous years. Unless otherwise noted, this applies to all Purple Prep tasks—from placement exams to information forms to the housing contract. You will follow all dates and deadlines as an incoming new student rather than as a returning student.

Please note the Purple Prep Checklist does not include your financial-aid-related tasks. You should expect to follow directives from the Office of Financial Aid and those found on CAESAR.

Access your Purple Prep Checklist.

Tasks with considerations if completed in a previous year:
  • Student Immunization Form (due July 1):
    • Submit if any updated TB self-screenings (pg. 3 of the Student Immunization Form).
    • Submit if any updated immunizations (otherwise, no need to resubmit pages 1, 2, and 4 of the Student Immunization Form).
    • Review any correspondence previously received from Health Information Management Services (HIMS) for instructions on rectifying any immunization deficiencies by the final deadline (30 days after the start of classes).

  • Submitting IB/AP Exam Scores (due July 15):
    If you submitted scores in a previous year but chose to defer prior to early August of that year, it is likely you need to resubmit scores. Those who chose to defer after early August do not need to resubmit scores. Contact the Office of the Registrar with questions. 

  • Submitting high school transcript (due August 1):
    If your final high school transcript was sent to Northwestern in a previous year, you do not need to resubmit the final transcript. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission with questions. 

Wildcat Welcome

To support your acclimation to Northwestern as a member of the Class of 2028, you will participate in Wildcat Welcome 2024. All incoming students are assigned to a peer adviser group by early August. If you are a new student, you will move in on September 17 and will take part in a robust orientation over several days that helps you connect with other students, learn what to expect in the year ahead, and more. If you are a returning student, you can move in beginning at 8:00 a.m. on September 21.

Learn more about Wildcat Welcome.


Tuition and Housing Deposits from a previous year

Students who submitted a tuition and/or housing deposit in a previous year do not need to resubmit new deposits; deposits from a previous year carry over to the year they plan to enroll. 

Change the graduation year in your Northwestern email address

Visit Northwestern IT's Knowledge Base to find instructions on updating the graduation year in your Northwestern email address. 

You're a student coming back to Northwestern after a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)

You have worked with Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS) and the Office of Student Transition Experiences (OSTE) to identify a plan that is best for your unique return to campus. If you worked with SASS to participate in Wildcat Welcome for this year, you are included on all emails for the orientation process; however, work with OSTE to understand if any Purple Prep tasks require your attention. While OSTE will help you understand what additional items you might need to complete, you are asked to complete the Wildcat Welcome Registration Form by June 30.


Please note that per Northwestern’s transfer credit policies, any work from another institution completed during a deferral period will not transfer to Northwestern. 

Any additional questions should be directed to Student Transition Experiences at