From prominent college admissions directors, to respected educational journals, to high school counselors, experts in higher education are saying that taking a Gap Year has enormous benefits for high school graduates. Described as a modern-day rite of passage, a Gap Year is an opportunity to take advantage of the natural break between high school and college and to unplug from the everyday classroom. It is a chance to reboot and experience a new style of learning; to embark on real work and real-world experience; to gain a better sense of identity, self-confidence, and hone in on one’s ability to be a critical thinker. This formative break can ignite a desire for change, awaken a passion for learning, and expose young adults to multiple fields of study and career paths to serve as inspiration in gaining a direction for college and beyond.
America’s (small) New Trend: Taking a Gap Year
Gap years have long been popular in Europe and Australia. Now, a small but growing group of U.S. teens and their parents are jumping aboard the gap year trend.
The Wall Street Journal
Welcome To College. Now Take A Year Off
Colleges are offering financial aid to entice admitted students to stay away for a year.
Gap years, long popular in Europe, have gained ground in the U.S. not just for wealthy teens who can afford a lengthy vacation, but also for students of modest means who want to pause before jumping into academic endeavors.
The New York Times
How Taking A Gap Year Can Change Your Life
If your teenager is talking about taking a year away from the classroom between high school and college, you may have Malia Obama to thank for that. But if they’re not yet talking about whether to follow her lead, they should be.
Greenwich Free Press
Greenwich High School Graduate’s ARCC Gap Semester Leaves Her Homesick for Asia
As her graduation from Greenwich High School drew nearer last spring, Valerie Calkosz knew she wanted a break from academia and a chance to travel and explore. While many young people don’t get an international experience until they are juniors in college, it’s not necessary, and besides, there are gap year programs a teen can parlay into college credit.
Britta Calkosz, Valerie’s mother, said she did quite a bit of research into programs and found Adventures Cross Country…
The New York Times
The Gap Year: Breaking up the “Cradle to College to Cubicle to Cemetery” Cycle
“‘How many of you would love to take a gap year right now?’ Holly Bull, an independent student gap year adviser asked a room full of college counselors early on Saturday morning. A groggy audience sprang to life, all hands shooting up at a lecture entitled ‘Gap Year: American Style’ at the National Association of College Counselors conference in New Orleans. The idea of taking time off between high school and college — a self-exploratory sabbatical in the free spirit of 1970s — has increasingly become a structured concept in the United States, with counselors like Ms. Bull linking students and parents up with formal programs. As the number of students who opt to take a gap year has grown, so, too, has awareness of gap year benefits to the student, said Robert Clagett, former dean of admissions at Middlebury College (and formerly an admissions officer at Harvard).”
On Campus: Is It a Good Idea to Take a Gap Year?
Many students transition directly from high school to college. But, an increasing number of graduates are taking a gap year. HuffPost Live goes on and off campus to learn more about the benefits of taking this year off in between.
Mind The Gap
“The gap year is frequently one of those terms you hear in college fairs and pretend to consider for a few weeks, daydreaming about foreign countries, exploring the world and finding yourself and independence away from the influences of parents, friends and school. While the gap year has always been popular in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe — 50 percent of students in Norway take a year off before returning to school, according to the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education — it is only now gaining popularity in the United States.”
The Washington Post
A Primer on Gap Years
“It’s the season when high school seniors are frantically filling out college applications and trying to figure out where they will be and what they will be doing next fall.
There is some evidence that a growing number of U.S. high school graduates are taking a year off before going to college. But there are questions about how gap years work, and who they benefit and what colleges think about them.
To get some answers, I talked with Laura R. Hosid, an expert on gap years at the Vinik Educational Placement Services, Inc. in Bethesda, and you can read the Q & below. Hosid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The New York Times
How to Become a World Citizen, Before Going to College
“FOUR jobs. Seventy hours a week. All summer. That has been Erin Sullivan’s schedule since graduating from high school. (Dinner was often in her car, driving from lifeguarding to baby-sitting). But it has been worth it, said Ms. Sullivan, 18, of Lawrenceville, N.J., who was to leave this weekend for Latin America on a mostly self-financed “gap year” of volunteering, home stays and Spanish lessons before attending college in fall 2007. ‘I want a better idea what I’m going for before I go,’ said Ms. Sullivan, who is deferring admission to American University.”
Forbes Business Magazine Features Adventures Cross-Country
Is College Really Going to Help You Now? 4 Reasons to Take a Travel Year Instead
“While many teenagers are eager to start college in the fall immediately following high school graduation, many are not so sure. Some teens might not know what they want to study or simply want to take a break from academia for a semester or two. Known as a “gap year,” this teen travel trend is growing among graduating seniors. Parents are going along with it in order to let their kids experience the world for a while before buckling down to get a college education. Teens can actually glean a lot from time spent traveling, working or volunteering services. Sometimes the best education is life experience. Taking a gap year might be the best educational decision you ever make.”