Some students elect to postpone college for a year. (This is sometimes referred to as a “gap year”.) This break from formal education provides students an opportunity to mature emotionally and intellectually so that they are better prepared to take advantage of their college experience. Students use this time to enrich their resumes with a variety of experiences that may include:
- volunteer experiences
- work or internship experiences
- domestic or foreign travel
- exchange programs
- personal/enrichment activities (dance, sports, music, writing, politics, etc.)
- part-time education
While some parents are often concerned that their student’s will lose their interest in attending college, these experiences often allow students to make more informed decisions regarding their educational and career options. Students interested in taking a gap year may apply for college during their senior year of high school and then ask their college to defer their admission until the following year (it is important to discuss this option with the admission counselor). For students hoping to enhance their college application, they may also wait to apply during their gap year.
http://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/ - United Way of Dane County
http://www.americorps.gov/ - AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.
http://www.ciee.org/hsabroad/gap/# - CIEE Gap Year Abroad Programs
http://usagapyearfairs.org/programs/ - USA Gap year Fairs
For more information and resources, you may also refer to the book Taking Time Off, by Colin Hall and Ron Lieber.