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The Benefits of Taking a Gap Year Explained

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image26198810It’s March, do you know what your seniors are doing next year? That’s an adapted title of a previous post explaining groundbreaking research about the popularity and effectiveness of taking a “gap year” between high school and college.

This past week major media outlets also discussed the value of gap year programs. In fact, many “elite colleges” are not helping students pay for taking a gap year. Why? During a recent interview on NPR, higher education consultant, Mara Dolan, explained the rational to reporter Kirk Carapezza this way:

MARA DOLAN: A lot of students need a gap year. They’re not ready to begin college.

CARAPEZZA: Mara Dolan is a higher education consultant. She doesn’t find it ironic that more schools are telling students to take a break and then overseeing their experience.

DOLAN: It’s certainly consistent with the idea of what a college education provides, which is something more than a degree. It’s developing the whole student so that they can become higher functioning individuals, when they go out in the world.

Listen to the entire NPR story here: “Mind The Gap (Year): A Break Before College Might Do Some Good

The benefits of taking a “gap year” was covered by two other major media outlets last week as well:

College Offers to Pay Students to Take Year Off” by Paige Sutherland for Time Magazine:

“Students who take part are able to see the world beyond the bubble they grew up in and return to school with a better perspective of their future.”

Go West, Young People! And East!” by Nicholas Kristof for The New York Times:

“Gap years are becoming a bit more common in the United States… Colleges tend to love it when students defer admission to take a gap year because those students arrive with more maturity and less propensity to spend freshman year in an alcoholic haze.”

Taking a gap year between high school and college is not for every student, to be sure, but it is a good option that should be considered, especially for students who are not quite sure what they want to do after high school or what they hope to accomplish in college.

More gap year resources are available here.

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