Thursday, January 26, 2017

Options to Delay College

The term gap year came into America's mainstream vocabulary last year with Malia Obama's announcement that she will delay her entrance into Harvard until Fall 2017. An Australian and European mainstay, the gap year means an academic year spent between high school and the start of college to pursue enrichment opportunities.

GAP YEAR EXAMPLES:

  • Work
    • Intern at a company of your academic interest
    • Teach English in South America 
    • Au pair in Europe. 
  • Volunteer
    • Start at your local food pantry
    • Join City Year to help rebuild America
  • Travel
    • Gain invaluable life experience by backpacking through Europe
    • Driving a camper across Australia
    • Go to South America like Malia Obama 
  • Learning
    • Develop those entrepreneurial skills and intern at a startup company
    • Learn a new language in a foreign country
    • Research a passion in its actual setting.

ADVANTAGES:

  • A gap year allows students to take a step back and 'recharge' from working hard to create a spectacular high school resume (link to old blog post) 
  • The life experiences gained can make students better prepared not only academically, but socially as well for college.
  • Working can not only begin a professional resume, but can help earn money for college, taking the pressure of tuition or other college costs. 
  • Students get the chance to experience life away from home before starting university through travel, experiencing a new culture(s) or being immersed in a new language. 

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Taking part of an organized gap year program, traveling across countries or living in a new city can be expensive.
  • College financial aid packages may be changed as families will have to once again complete the FAFSA.
  • Do students just want to travel? Perhaps they can consider cheaper alternatives while accruing college credits through college study abroad programs.
  • For students who fail to develop important organizational habits, it might be easy to lose focus and fall out of the academic routine.
  • A poorly planned gap year may mean a year spent binge watching Netflix.

While a gap year between high school may not be for everyone, neither is immediately attending college. Perhaps some of these options can be used as an extended summer break while in college, explored during a study abroad semester, or done prior to entering the workforce/graduate school. If you would like to further explore Gap Year options, here is a recommended website.

If you would like to find out more about Gap Years, or anything college related, contact us.


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