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Deferred and Gap-Year Students

We’re thrilled to have you join Northwestern as a member of the Class of 2025! 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 2021–22 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:

Wildcat Welcome

To support your acclimation to Northwestern as a member of the Class of 2025, you will participate in Wildcat Welcome 2021. All incoming students will be assigned to a peer adviser group in mid-July. Right after you arrive during the September 13–14 move-in days, you will take part in a robust orientation over several days that will help you connect with other students, learn what to expect in the year ahead, and more. Events will be designed for you to meet other deferred and gap-year students during Wildcat Welcome.

If you participated in Wildcat Welcome 2020, you can expect a different orientation experience this fall. Required events during Wildcat Welcome are applicable to you. Please note the advising and registration process is slightly different and occurs prior to your arrival to campus. Please follow the advising and registration directives provided in your school's section of the Purple Prep website.

Learn more about Wildcat Welcome 2021.


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.