Once you have put down your deposit at the college you plan to attend, you can make your request to defer. Typically the deadline to request a gap year is June 1st. Most schools will grant a gap year.
Email your request to the admissions department and include an outline of what you plan to do during your year off. Here is an example:
Dear XXXX or To Whom it May Concern:
I have been accepted as a member of the class of 2023. However I would like to request the opportunity to defer my matriculation until September 2020.
During my gap year I would work at XXXX summer camp as a counselor and from September to December I would live at home and work as a server at a local restaurant. January through March I would WOOF (work on organic farms in exchange for room and board) in Argentina. Next spring I would love to intern at a local animal hospital before returning to XXXXX to work again as a counselor.
Thank you for your consideration.
Many colleges and universities will say “Yes, and see you next year,” while others might require more detail, including an explanation of what you hope to get out of your experience. They might also require mid-year and final reflections upon your experiences.
Prior to making your official request, check in with the admissions office to be sure you will still receive any merit scholarships should you take a gap year. If you received financial aid you will have to reapply for aid during the fall of your gap year.