I have received a number of phone calls this month from parents of seniors wondering about finding the right college for their student. I always tell them that a gap year should be seriously considered at this point so late in the admissions season.
For those of you not familiar with a gap year, it is an increasingly popular option for students to take a year off between graduating from high school and starting college. There are several groups of students for whom a gap year makes sense.
Students who had problems early in high school and haven’t lived up to their potential are often good candidates for a gap year. The additional year can be used to take college courses at a local community college where the student can prove that they are capable of handling college level work. This goes a long way to convincing college admissions officers that you are able to handle college work despite a poor high school performance.
On the other end of the scale are those students who have worked incredibly hard during high school and need to take a year off to avoid a burn out. Princeton University made news several years ago when they began encouraging admitted freshman to take a gap year although Princeton calls it a bridge year.
A third group of students for whom a gap year makes sense are those that have not taken the time to determine what they want from a college. These students might be able to find a college at this late stage of the admissions process but they do not have the time to find the best college for their needs. For these students, a gap year makes sense so that they have all of this year to work on finding the best college for them.
If you fit one of these groups, you should seriously consider taking a gap year next year. I will talk about how a gap year works and what to do during a gap year in one of my next postings.
[…] week I talked about what students might want to consider a gap year. But how does a gap year […]