No, there is no reason that taking a year off should disqualify you from scholarships. I'm taking a year off and they accepted all of my scholarship applications! Working for a year will certainly not save me enough to pay off my massive student loan AND pay tuition- so yep, I am applying for scholarships.
While CrimMajor's advice is helpful and relevant for students who have a good grasp of the employment and volunteer opportunities they will be pursuing during their year off, it is not very relevant for those of us who are still in the process of figuring out what we're going to be doing between now and September 2017 (if not in school). When I submitted my application, I had not yet found a job and had only just started volunteering (I'm from a very small town where employment/volunteer opportunities are scant), so I could not do much in the way of explaining what I was going to be doing in my year off besides "hoping to gain meaningful employment in the X sector". At the time of application, this was the only thing I knew for sure- I had no idea when I was going to get hired or what kind of job I was going to get, where I was going to live, what volunteer placements I would have time for, or if I would do some travelling... I mean, September 2017 is 9+ months away and I can't accurately predict what opportunities are going to be thrown at me in that time frame! I like to think that with the job market being what it is, and with 20-somethings being as 'impromptu' as we are, the admissions committee will not misinterpret my lack of predicting ability as lack of planning ability or lack of drive. I did write in one of my supplementary documents that I was actively looking for employment, which demonstrates that I'm at least trying to "be involved in something larger than myself", as CrimMajor wrote. My point is: it's not a big deal if you are unable to give a play-by-play of all the impressive things you're going to be doing during your year off if you genuinely don't know what you're going to be doing. As well, considering that the average age of Dal's entering class is 25, I am inclined to think that it is fairly common for students not to go to law school right after undergrad.
(A lengthy answer- but I hope it helps!)
Edited by natasharose, 19 November 2016 - 11:26 AM.