Gap years gaining popularity among future college students



Madison Rexroat

Gap years, which are years taken off of school before starting college, have seen an increase in past years, especially among American students. Most notably, Malia Obama will take a gap year before attending Harvard with the class of 2021.

Obama is not the only one, as Harvard has seen a 33 percent increase in students taking gap years. Many students take a year off to travel abroad or participate in projects and service programs that will help them gain a better understanding of what they want to do in life.

Students who take a gap year also tend to enter college as more mature and more focused students, and they’ve been found to attain higher GPAs than those who didn’t take gap years. Students with valuable gap year experiences are also more likely to gain acceptance into more prestigious schools.

A common fear among parents whose children want to take a gap year is that they will not actually go to college afterwards. However, the American Gap Association found that 90 percent of students returned to school within a year and 73 percent reported feeling more prepared for college. Another problem is that gap years are more reasonable for students from wealthier families who can afford it, but it is ultimately up to the family to weigh the benefits and costs of taking a gap year.

To read the full report by Insider, click here.