Gap in the News

People are talking about gap

That's because taking a gap year can have great and long-lasting benefits.  In the next section, you can find some of our information about why we think a gap year is great.  But don't take our word for it!  Below are links to a number of articles and studies about why you should consider a gap year:


Malia Obama decides to take a gap year—if it's good enough for the Obamas, it's worth thinking about!

The American Gap Association's recently-published study about the statistical benefits of a gap year.


NPRs tips on how to have a successful gap year—for Malia and for you!

Another NYT blog article about the post-college benefits of taking a year to explore your inner and outer worlds.

A New York Times Blog article about stepping off the conveyor belt that leads to educating "excellent sheep."


A Washington Post article explaining why some colleges encourage their entering students to take a gap year or semester.

The transition between high school and college is a weighty one, and the option of taking a gap year may seem like you’re missing out or that you’ll fall behind.  In fact, research says much the opposite!

The American Gap Association defines a gap year as a structured period of time where students pause their formal education to increase self-awareness, challenge comfort zones, and experiment with possible careers.  Originating in the U.K. in the 1970’s, gap years have become increasingly common in the U.S. and around the world.

So, why take a gap year?  The top two reasons students themselves give for taking a gap are:

  • Burnout from competitive academic pressure
  • Desire to find out more about themselves before college life

Beyond these two, there are plenty of other reasons to consider:

1. Structured Gap Year participants get more out of college
Research indicates that students who take a gap year graduate college with higher GPAs than their counterparts.  They are more likely to complete their degree within 4 years.  Finally, they are more able to identify colleges and universities that fit their personalities and career ambitions, and to accurately choose courses of study that engage them. (See Benefits of Taking a Gap Year from the AGA).

2. Ninety-eight percent of colleges and universities accept deferrals for structured gap years
Harvard, Princeton, University of North Carolina, and Colorado College are among the many institutions that not only accept but encourage students to take gap years.

3. Ninety percent of students who take a gap year go to college or university within one year
This means that, nationally, gap year participants are more likely to pursue college or university than their peers.
See Gap Year Data from the AGA for much more statistical information regarding gap years.



Statistics aren’t everything.  Anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the value of experiential education, adapting to new environments, and taking time to identify what truly matters to each individual--academically and otherwise
(see 10 Reasons… from the Huffington Post Travel).  

We are excited to offer a program at such a unique and important stage of your life, and hope you consider
joining us to experience this amazing opportunity!