To Gap or Not to Gap? That is the Question.

Students Face the Difficult Decision How to Move Forward with their College Plans in the Fall.

What do Prince William, Steve Jobs, Malia Obama, Kobe Bryant, and Charles Darwin all have in common? They each took a gap year before continuing their academic studies. A small percentage of students opt to pursue volunteer or full-time work, internships, religious fulfillment, or travel for a year rather than immediately starting college after graduating high school.

With so much uncertainty still looming compounded with the fact that many college and university campuses across the United States have already announced online learning for the fall semester, students are faced with the difficult decision of moving forward with their current course of action, shifting their plans or delaying the start of their college career.

Researchers predict there will be an increase in students pursuing a gap year for their social-emotional well-being or for financial implications. According to a recent study by the Art & Science Group, 16% of high school students polled indicated they planned to take a gap year in comparison to the less than 3% of first-year college students who indicated they took a gap year after high school in the past.

What are some of the benefits of a gap year? Contrary to the myth that students who take a gap year will not continue on to college, data shows that 90% do continue with their post-secondary education and achieve better educational outcomes than non-gap year students. Gap year students tend to complete their studies in four years compared to the national average of six years. They also tend to have more clarity around their major and post-college career of choice.

Documenting a gap year journey is a great resume builder and Passport For Good students can continue capturing their experiences within the platform even after graduating high school!u