5 Best Reasons to Take a Gap Year
What Is A Gap Year?
A gap year is the time between finishing secondary education and starting college or university. The year between high school and college is the gap year. During the gap year, the student either travels abroad to gain experience through volunteer work or works locally. There are many benefits to allowing your student to have a gap year. I will list five reasons how a gap year can help you and your student achieve your goals.
If you are a parent, you are probably worried that if your student does not enroll in college immediately, they will lose interest. No need to worry. A gap year has to be done intentionally to benefit your family. Discuss and have a plan in place before the end of your students' senior year. I think a student should know by Fall of their senior year that they will have a gap year.
Knowing well ahead of time about the gap year can help put your student's mind at ease, and yours too. You do not have to feel pressured to have your child go off to college knowing full well that she is not prepared.
Five Benefits Of A Gap Year
1) Academics. Research shows that a student should at least have a G.P.A. of 2.7 to apply for college. It really depends on the college. Depending on whose research you trust, a 3.0 is preferred. During the gap year, you will have an opportunity to think about how important academics are to you. Time away from the books, may increase your thirst for learning.
2) Maturity. Some students need to become more independent. Staying at home or travelling a year before starting college can be beneficial in growing and developing into a more mature person. Adulthood means being more responsible. Being responsible can build self-esteem.
3) Financial. College tuition is expensive, and the least expensive is Community College. I checked out five Community Colleges from the East Coast to the West Coast and found the per credit hour rate to vary a bit. I prepared a chart just to give you an idea of the financial challenges you will face when a child attends community college. Double and triple the figures - then you will get the cost of a 4 year college/university tuition. Look at the chart.
Community College - Least Expensive College
Cost Per Credit Hour
Tuition Based on 15 Credit Hours - 2 Semesters
Edgecombe Community College - Taboro, NC
$1695 - Annually
Washington County Community College - Calais, ME
$2520 - Annually
Austin Community College - Austin, TX
$4500 - Annually
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI
$2001 - Annually
Owens Community College - Toledo, OH
$3852.50 - Annually
4) Drained. School can be a drag for some students, and they get tired of the daily routine of getting up every morning going to school. They get tired of homework, and eventually lose their appetite for school stuff. Give this kid a break.
5) Bonding. I really like the idea of bonding. Before a student goes off to college, strong relationships should be in tact, because difficult days will come. Before a student leaves for college, they should develop a strong relationship at home with a parent or guardian whom they can trust.
Gap Year Thoughts. I do know students who have had a gap year, unintentionally. A gap year has to be planned - you may need to apply to a program if you want to travel abroad. You will need a passport and the proper immunization. I think gap years should be discussed more in schools, especially for students unsure of themselves. This year could be the best time in your students' life, so think seriously about taking the leap. Please do not give up on your student!
What did you do in your gap year? Did you travel abroad or work locally. Or, did you find a Gap Year Program to help you navigate through that year?