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 (https://www.nacacnet.org/) 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!
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:
- Apply to college.
- Get accepted to college and defer your college enrollment.
- Decide on the interests you want to pursue during the gap year and your budget.
- Identify gap year programs within your budget, that let you explore your interests.
- Check the quality and safety of those programs.
- 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: