Middlebury has one of the oldest, largest, most well-established mid-year enrollment programs in the country. And we love our Febs!
Since its inception in 1971, the February admission program has offered students the flexibility to have a gap semester to recharge, reflect, and prepare for their four-year college experience. Febs often spend their gap semester pursuing an interest, holding a job, traveling, visiting with family members, and/or engaging in a service project.
Everything we do at Middlebury, we do twice per year. Orientation, first-year seminars, and activities fairs for clubs and organizations happen in both September and February. So once on campus, a student’s Middlebury experience will be much the same whether they start in September or February. And Febs have the benefit of entering the College with a close-knit cohort of 90–100 students at a time when the entire College is excited to welcome them to campus. After completing their four years, Febs take part in a unique ski-down tradition at the Middlebury Snow Bowl to celebrate their graduation.
Febs proudly wear the .5 at the end of their graduation year and join a long tradition of adventurous students who aren’t afraid to do things a bit differently. We can’t wait to hear what you decide to do with a Febmester!
On Your Application
Students can indicate on the application their preference for a specific semester of entry (September only, February only, or either February or September)—and indicating an interest does not impact your admission decision process. The Admissions committee may not be able to honor all preferences during Regular Decision. However, due to the binding nature of Early Decision, the Admissions committee will honor an applicant’s preference for entry term. Febs are notified of admission at the same time as students admitted for September.
Taking Your Febmester
Febs use their fall semester—what we call a Febmester—to pursue a wide range of interesting options. Some pursue academic interests while others work, travel, volunteer, or take advantage of the many programs aimed at young people. For help with planning, visit our Febmester Resources. Here’s a list of what some recent students did for their Febmester:
- Interned at Outward Bound
- Worked on community theater productions
- Interned on Capitol Hill
- Worked at a lobbying firm
- Worked as a teacher’s assistant at a boarding school in England
- Saved money and volunteered at a youth center
- Traveled in Germany for three weeks
- Worked as a landscaper and studied at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
- Worked at a small professional theater with the artistic director
- Lived with family in Seattle for two months to explore, camp, and hike
- Stayed at home in Tibet and volunteered as an interpreter at the village school
- Worked as a clerk at a stock brokerage firm and a sales associate at Banana Republic
- Took a NOLS course in Patagonia
Frequently Asked Questions
Q Do students apply for February admission in a separate applicant pool?
No. Febs are chosen from the same applicant pool as September students and all students are notified of their admission at the same time. Students may indicate on the application their preference for a starting date (September only, February only, or either), but this is ultimately an Admissions Office decision.
Q How many Febs arrive each February?
Usually about 100 students.
Q Does indicating a preference for February increase the likelihood of admission?
No. The Admissions committee strives for consistency in its assessment standards and a student’s preference is simply another piece of information for use by the Admissions staff.
Q Is being admitted as a Feb like being on the waiting list?
No. Febs receive full admission at the time of their notification. They simply begin their Middlebury experience in February rather than September.
Q When do Febs graduate?
As February first-years, students enter in February and leave four years later in February—in their caps and gowns but also on skis, snowboards, or snowshoes at Middlebury’s own ski area, the Snow Bowl! The February celebration is a hallmark of a Middlebury winter. February seniors and their families enjoy a full weekend of festivities on campus and at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. February admission does not imply that students will graduate in three-and-a-half years. Any student (September or Feb) may choose to use AP credits, or other transferable credit, to accelerate their course of study, but that’s not the intention of the Feb admission program.
Q Can Febs be involved in clubs and organizations their first semester? How do they get into classes?
Febs have a week of orientation before spring semester begins, while the rest of Middlebury is on break after winter term. Febs participate in events that acquaint them with Middlebury and that include placement exams, class registration, and an activities fair. Middlebury reserves space in spring semester classes so that Febs are sure to have access to a broad range of course offerings. Typically, Febs really make an impact when they arrive at Middlebury and quickly involve themselves in a wide array of extracurricular activities.
Q Where do Febs live on campus?
First-year Febs are generally housed in doubles with other first-year Febs within our first-year/sophomore residential communities.
Q Can Febs participate in four years of athletics?
Febs have four full seasons of athletic eligibility. For fall or winter sports, Febs complete their careers in the final fall semester or winter term. For students who play a winter sport, they would play during the final winter and would be allowed to stay on with the team (after the end of winter term and the Feb graduation celebration) to finish the entire season.