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A lot of graduate programs won't let you defer -- you might have to reapply. Have you checked if your program even allows deferrals? I doubt you would be obliged to attend the program, even if you had a deferral. Most programs don't want people who don't want to be there.

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No, you don't "have" to go. My advisor took on a student last fall who decided to defer for a year. Then last semester the student emailed to say she wasn't coming.

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I have been accepted into two master's counseling programs, one in Philadelphia and one in New York, and they both accept defferals. I am using my year off to travel/work/save money so I don't go into too much debt, but I don't know where I will be once the year is over. I just don't want to have to decide between the two schools now if I don't have too. I don't want to be misleading but I don't want either to cut me out.

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As I understand it, deferrals are generally only approved if you are going off to do something that HAS to take place then and is somewhat related to academics ie. you are deferring because you got a Fulbright fellowship or you have a special opportunity to do research and THAT program won't let you defer.. or something along those lines...

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