"If you are a high school senior eager to take a Gap Year, here are a few suggested steps to take to defer your admission from your future college:
1. Ask your top choice college about their deferral policy, or check the American Gap Association’s database. The database lists each college’s policy on Gap Year deferral and is organized by state.
2. If you have applied for financial aid or scholarships, inquire about the policy on securing your funding for the following year.
3. Design and finalize your Gap Year plans. If you have not already chosen programs and activities for your year, begin planning. If you need additional help, reach out to your parents, guidance counselor or a Gap Year advisor for assistance.
4. Most deferral-friendly colleges will have a procedure that includes writing a deferral letter detailing your intended Gap Year plans. Be as specific as possible in crafting your letter. You should address why you want to take a Gap Year, what you plan doing and how it will make you a better member of their student body as a result. See a sample deferral request letter here.
5. Be sure to submit a deferral request before your college’s deadline. This varies from school to school so make sure to check.
6. Follow any procedures that your college requests of you during your Gap Year. This may include a mid-year check in or a reflection upon completion of your Gap Year.
7. When you arrive on campus seek out other returned gappers. Some colleges, like Middlebury, have a Gap Year club. This helps ease the transition from an amazing Gap Year into a meaningful college experience."
This video from GoAbroad.com offers a look at some possibilities for a Gap Year.