also, does anyone know how hard it is to defer for a year at YLS? two years? i know that you have to submit a request for deferral, but... if it's a good opportunity, what's the % likelihood of approval?
also, does anyone know if it's possible to defer for ANOTHER year after one year of deferral? (i.e. i defer for one year, but decide sometime before september 2010 that i want to take another year off due to said good opportunity?)
Generally, my sense is that if you have a plan (a program or degree institution or fellowship, etc.) to commit to, they're more willing to grant a deferral than if you just say, "Hey, Asha, I really just want to take a year off...travel the world, expand my horizons."
That said, Yale doesn't have its "there are no rules! students do whatever they want!" reputation that it does for no reason...I've heard a few really crazy stories with regard to deferrals that have been granted (and, yes, in some cases renewed), so I think this is one of those situations where Yale's small size really does allow you to plead your case with the powers that be. I wouldn't make broad generalizations, but instead recommend you talk to Asha about your specific situation.
Also, of course, the earlier you talk to them, the better...b/c the earlier you give them a heads up that you won't be here (and, let's be honest, paying tuition) in Fall 2009, the easier it is for them to get just the right replacement to take your place.