A Gap Year can be a positive choice for many students, but it needs to be planned with intention. Travel, mission work, and even work can be something which helps build maturity and provide valuable life-experience between a senior year of high school and freshman year in college.
If you think you want to take a Gap Year, you’ll need to find out how that may affect your college options. As a general rule, private colleges will defer awards and acceptance, however public colleges may not. Check with your potential schools to see how they consider a Gap Year — and what activities would be views favorably in your later-admission process.
Some Gap Year programs are more expensive than others, and all offer different levels of experience, so it pays to check around. For example, students can currently earn Portland State University college credit through programs like Carpe Diem, which helps off-set the higher cost of participation. Rotary Youth Exchange and ASF are two programs which are highly regarded and well established. Global Citizen Year was recently recognized by Forbes as a good “bridge year” value. One more to investigate is International Experience: US Study Abroad Program. At least one of our students has participted in a year abroad with Africa & Asia Venture. And students can earn a stipend while contributing to the community through Americorps.
Check with Mrs. W if you have questions about what might qualify as a legitimate Gap Year experience.