Senior Year Blues

If you are a high school senior and not feeling great about your future because of the following all is not lost:

  • You didn’t apply to college, but you recently decided want to go
  • You applied to college, but you didn’t get accepted into any of the schools you applied to
  • You applied to college, but none of the schools you got accepted to are affordable for your family or
  • You applied to college, but you don’t like any of the schools you were accepted to.

Here are three approaches you might take:

  • Attend a local community college or a college with open admissions in the Fall
  • Take a gap year, and apply to colleges in the Fall
  • Check the list of colleges with available space in the Fall on the NACAC website ( typically posted on May 2 or 3. Apply to the colleges that you would like to attend and that you believe will be affordable for your family.

Best of luck!

Gap Year Basics

A gap year is a structured period of time when students take a break from formal education to explore areas of interest in the United States and/or abroad via one or more planned activities like travel, foreign language immersion, internships, volunteer work, and/or work. For many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Often students postpone starting college for a year and the gap year is taken between high school graduation and the deferred start of college.


Some gap year benefits – After a well planned gap year, students typically:

  •  Have pursued and clarified their interests through real-world experiences. They are therefore less likely to change majors in college and more likely to finish their Bachelor’s degree in four years
  • Gain insight about themselves and their goals.
  • Are more mature, focused, independent and self-confident.
What kind of student might benefit from a gap year? – Many different kinds of students might benefit from a gap year, including students:
  •  With multiple interests
  • Unsure whether they want to pursue a particular major/career
  • Without a clear academic focus
  • Who are burned-out after high school.
How much will a gap year cost? Gap year programs range from free to thousands of dollars. In free programs, students often get room and board, in exchange for work.
Before taking a gap year – Here are six steps to take before taking a gap year: 
  1. Apply to college. 
  2. Get accepted to college and defer your college enrollment.
  3. Decide on the interests you want to pursue during the gap year and your budget.
  4. Identify gap year programs within your budget, that let you explore your interests.
  5. Check the quality and safety of those programs.
  6. Select and register for the gap year programs, you wish to pursue.
Pay it forward – What is your experience with a gap year?  How did it change you? Who would you recommend it to? 
References – Here are three on-line gap year references that may be helpful: