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Obviously ask. But I can tell you my Indiana offer had some info on this: the offer of admission was valid for 2 years, but it explicitly said the funding offer was not. This did not mean that no funding was available should I defer, but the exact amounts and # of years was not guaranteed.

I doubt any program would promise you the exact same funding offer if you defer.

Hope this helps.

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Chicago doesn't allow deferrals. I was hoping for the same thing last year. What they have you do is reactivate your application. There's no fee and you have to answer a couple of extra questions about your activities during the year you deferred. Obviously this guarantees nothing, but if they know you're very interested but can't attend this year (with good reason) you have a good shot. I was accepted again this year with the same funding as in the previous year. Again, no guarantees-- just my experience. If you can, keep in touch with a professor or two with similar interests to yours.

Good luck with your decision.

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