Many students choose to take a Gap Year between high school and college, but what does a Gap Year really mean and how do colleges view them?
Loosely defined, a Gap-Year is a time period taken off between high school and college meant to explore a career path through interning or work, to study and learn in a new environment or abroad, or to volunteer with a service organization at home or abroad.
It is highly recommended that students who are considering a Gap Year should follow the normal college application process during their senior year and, once accepted, work with each individual college or university to apply for a deferred enrollment.
NACAC, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, offers a starting point for researching Gap Years. Click here for more information.
As with any type of “program”, there is a myriad of choices, from for-profit travel groups, to government and non-profit service programs, to paid-consultants and sites to help you design your own Gap Year.
Non-Profit and Goverment-based programs:
Americorps (includes Americorps, Vistacorps and FEMA Corps)
American Gap Association
Student Conservation Organization
Gap Year Fairs
Center for Interim Programs
Universities with Gap Year Deferral programs or their own Gap Year programs