Can I Defer Admission, How and on What Conditions? - School Contents

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Can I Defer Admission, How and on What Conditions?

Defer admissions!
Some students are hearing about the possibility of deferring their admissions for the first time. Some have heard about this opportunity to postpone academic resumption to a future date but were not sure how to go about it.


In this post, I will be showing you what it means  to officially defer admission, how to go about it if you're in need, popular schools accepting deferments of admissions, conditions of accepting and approving deferments of admissions, and a lot of other related concerns.

What's Deferment of Admissions?

For reasons including health, lack of finance (even though not usually applicable to foreign students), loss of sponsors, over-engagements (usually official), change of location, partial loss of interest, pregnancy (especially in the case of Nursing students), etc, a newly admitted student or a returning one can apply for deferment of admission which will not only help him or her retain his or her studentship but also allow him/her to official miss/avoid the current or future academic year and resumes on the deadline of the deferment.


Generally, it's expected of all universities, polytechnics, and colleges to have official provisions for students who may wish to defer their admissions based on management-concluded reasons. This will not only help a distressed student to retain his or her studentship but also assist him or her to get over the concerns and later further his or her studies with the same institution on resumption at when due. However, not all institutions are allowing the deferment of admission.


It's important to note that where admission is deferred, the affected students will only be given the chance to resume the first-year academic works or the year of approval academic arrangements rather than allowing him or her to skip the classes altogether and continue to year 2. In other words, on resumption, you're to start where you left off (usually at the 1 level or the very level where it was approved). Not that, you will join those who attended the defered year lectures. They're now a year ahead of you!

Popular Schools Allowing Students To defer Admissions

While deferment of admissions is well known among the newly admitted, it's not uncommon to see students in the 200 or 300 levels deferring their classes for one or two of the earlier mentioned reasons.


However, while some schools may only limit such opportunities to the 100 level candidates, some do that only for the returning students, while others may consider both categories of students for the deferment of admissions.


On this note, below is the list of universities, polytechnics, and colleges that may allow you to defer your admission.


  1. Most federal universities
  2. Most state universities
  3. Most private universities
  4. Most federal polytechnics
  5. Most State polytechnics
  6. Most private polytechnics
  7. Most federal colleges of educations
  8. Most state colleges of educations
  9. Most private colleges of education


Don't be confused, as specific names of certain institutions will be mentioned below. However, the list above ascertains that very many universities, polytechnics, and colleges have provisions for deferring admissions of their aspirants.


However, it's been observed that most schools have manual approaches to the processes of deferring admissions. Yet, a few, as listed below, have dedicated procedures for it, on their official websites or well-known among the students.


  1. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) Enugu State
  2. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Port Harcourt, Rivers state
  3. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Kaduna State
  4. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara State
  5. Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo, Osun State
  6. and others

Steps to Follow in Order to Defer Admissions

Generally, these steps will work for all universities, polytechnics, and colleges.


  1. Visit the school admission office. You can do this immediately after being offered admission. It's important to be there a few weeks before classes will commence.
  2. Table your situation before the admission officer. The admission officer will guide you right on the steps to take including how to write the deferment letter, the fees to pay, the form to fill, the deadline for the application, and when you're expected to return for classes if approved.


Similarly, a few schools with dedicated pages to the guidelines for deferment of admissions had given us clues to what is expected of all institutions.


For example, according to the University of Nigeria (UNN), management requires the concerned candidates to:


  1. Use your university e-mail address to send an email through your head of department to the admission office for readmission.
  2. The admission officer minutes to the Registrar using the dedicated email address.
  3. The Registrar approves and sends to the director ICT for implementation.
  4. The ICT director forwards the request to the appropriate unit for implementation.


Also, the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) instructs students to follow the following procedures for the deferment of admissions.


  1. The candidate must confirm his/her Admission Status must; pay the acceptance fee showing evidence of having accepted the offer of admission.
  2. He/she is, therefore, expected to go through the online clearance process, up to the eligibility clearance stage to get cleared online.
  3. If cleared online, the candidate should go to the admissions office with the following documents for physical clearance: (i) A colored Print-Out of Clearance Eligibility Form with Candidate’s “Clearance Status” boldly indicated Cleared on top of the Form (ii) Original WAEC, NECO, or NABTEB certificates. Online colored printouts will suffice where the Candidate’s Certificates are not originals/ available (iii) Coloured printout of JAMB Admission Letter (iv) Birth Certificate, but where this is not available, Statutory Declaration of Age will suffice.
  4. Candidates cleared at the Admissions Office are expected to proceed to the Bank to pay a Deferment Fee of N5,000.00 (five thousand naira only).
  5. Candidates, after payment, should submit the Bank Teller to the Bursary Department of the University and obtain a receipt.
  6. Having obtained a Receipt, the candidate should return to the admissions office with the Receipt and obtain a Deferment of Admission Form, to be duly completed by the candidate thereafter submitted to his/ her Faculty Officer for Processing.

Similarly, there could be deferment of admissions based on a school's recommendation. 

For instance, Osun State University recently advised a few newly admitted candiates who were below the offically recognised admission age to defer their admissions if they woudn't consider the option to lose the offers.

There can be similar cases like this that will force a school to recommend deferement of admissions even if the affectd students don't apply for it.

Can Application for Deferment of Admission be Rejected?

Yes. In certain cases, if you submit your deferment application, you may not meet the kind hearts of the management. 


  1. Of course, even for the schools accepting the deferments, approval is at the decretion of the authority. The fact that they approve for somebody on the health basis doesn't ascertain your own approval on the same ground.
  2. And as you must have deduced from the above, not all institutions have provisions for the deferment of admissions. Here, you won't be able to plead for academic absence on deferment.
  3. And obviously, if your basis of application is not acceptable or too weak for the approval e.g financial reason without a clear explanation on the means to get the fund if your resume the following year.
  4. Also if you're trying to get more than one year of approval, you may not be approved as most schools won't accept deferment beyond one year.
  5. If you can't meet the financial requirements for the approval. For instance, some schools will still want you to pay the acceptance fee, the school fee (sometimes), and other dues for that very year before you leave on deferment. If you can't satisfy those payments, you may be out of luck.

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