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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Indefinite deferral


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I recently heard about Puanani Brown from ABT from one of my teachers. She was offered a spot at Harvard and a NYCB apprenticeship after she graduate. She chose to defer Harvard and then go to NYCB. She was not invited back to NYCB, so then she went to Harvard. She realized her freshman year she still wanted to pursue dance. (The next part really shocked me.) Harvard has a policy where as long as a student attends one semester they can defer indefinitely, which is exactly what Brown decided to do.She deferred and got a position at ABT

So this got me wondering, are there any other universities with indefinite deferrals?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have never heard of this, but would be interested in hearing of any other colleges that allow this, as well, if any others exist....


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I was a professor at Harvard for almost a decade and it is indeed the case that students can defer indefinitely -- it is why Harvard boasts such a low attrition rate. No one ever truly drops out. Stanford also has a lenient policy, as do many of the ivy league schools. Maybe not as lenient at Harvard, but at Stanford, for example, you can take several years off after attending a year and return with no problem.

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Brown University apparently has a similar policy to Harvard. After attending for one year, you can leave for an indefinite time. 


My son attended Brown for a year, then took 1.5 years off  in the early 2000's. At that time, they told him he could take off for 10 years if he wanted as long as he let them know each year whether or not he was coming back. The link above makes it sound like one could be away for more years than that.

Columbia University only allows a one year absence for a "compelling reason" if one interrupts one's studies there.

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