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For some students, a gap year can have negative consequences

For some students, a gap year can have negative consequences

  • New opportunity to learn. Gap year programs offer students new and exciting ways to learn about the world. Immersive experiences are important and helpful for students who really want to try new things and learn while they do it.

While there are many pros to a gap year, some people may wonder if taking a gap year is a bad idea?

  • Impact college admission. How does a gap year affect college admission? For students who wait to apply until after their gap year, admission standards may change or committees may look less favorably on students who have taken time off. Students taking a gap year may also have difficulty applying for college and meeting deadlines while in a foreign country.
  • It can be expensive. Gap year programs can be extremely expensive, impacting your ability to pay for college and other things down the line. While a gap year can be a fun and interesting opportunity, students need to weigh if a gap year or college is better worth their financial investment.
  • Later start to college. Some students find that their gap year has delayed their college plans, which in turn will delay their timeline to get a job. For some students, this break or delay in college can hinder them. And some students may never go back if they take time off after high school.
  • Requires careful planning. A gap year requires careful planning in order for students to make the best use of their time and money. And it takes careful planning to arrange coming back to college as well. For some students, all this extra work may simply not be worth it to have a gap year experience.

History of the gap year.

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In Europe, the idea of a gap year has been around since the seventeenth century. The Grand Tour where young adults would spend a year visiting countries all around Europe, was a vital part of education. Often after young adults finished more formal schooling or learning they would embark on a Grand Tour to learn from the world around them.

It was in the 1960’s that gap years really started to become popular, and into the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, more students, particularly in Europe, began to embark on gap years. Wealthy or royal students would often spend their gap year doing service, traveling, and preparing for their college education.

In the United States, gap years haven’t had the same popularity as they have in Europe, but students still find the idea exciting and interesting.

Gap year statistics.

If you’re one of the students considering taking time off before going to college, you may wonder how many students take a gap year in the United States. Research shows that only 3% of students take a gap year, around 30,00040,000 per semester. But in 2017, the number of students who took a gap year had risen 22% from the previous year. While not many students take a gap year, the number is rising.

Gap year programs.

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What is a gap year program? If you’re thinking about a gap year, you may be asking yourself What should I do on my gap year? There are many options and many official programs that can help you enjoy your time between high school and college.

The first thing to do is to decide which gap year ideas are most interesting to you. Are you hoping to work, do community service, learn a foreign language, or travel? Figuring out where you want to be, what you want to gain, and what you want to spend your time doing will help you determine what kind of gap year ideas, programs, or opportunities you should pursue. You’ll also need to find out how much an organization will cost based on what you’re interested in. Some gap year ideas involve getting paid, while others will require you to pay costs in order to attend the program.