Sunset Monadnock.jpg
Sunset Monadnock.jpg

Why Gap Year?


Why Take a Gap Year?


Why Gap Year?


Why Take a Gap Year?

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 it may seem like taking a gap year means "missing out" or "falling 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).  



Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is Gap at Glen Brook for?

Gap at Glen Brook is for those who see the world as it is, and want to see it changed.  For those who want to embody their values and, in so doing, change their own lives.  For those who ask big questions that survive your attempts to answer them.  For those who are craving something more, something deeper.  For those willing to rise to the challenge of knowing and developing their inner world, and along with it the confidence to meaningfully impact the world around them.

Gap at Glen Brook is for those who wish to experience the fulfillment of a hand-made, simply-lived, purpose-driven life.  For those who want to root down into the land through wilderness connection and farming.  For those who want to learn to sustain themselves with whole foods, as well as with practical manual skills.  For those who want to feel what it can be to live in a whole community, and to be its responsible stewards.

Gap at Glen Brook does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or gender expression.  We are not a wilderness therapy program; neither therapeutic nor adjudicated youth are allowed.  We do not pay commissions on referrals.

What sort of trips do you go on?


We’ll take many day-trips and extended excursions in our explorations of New England and the Monadnock region: from the lakes of the Mahoosuc Range in Maine to the cliffs of nearby Marlow, and to many other places besides.  On all of our adventures, we make sure to follow the appropriate participant-to-staff ratios:

  • Overnight Backpacking:  8 to 1

  • Winter Camping:  6 to 1

  • Top-rope Climbing:  6 to 1

  • Flat-water Paddling: 6 to 1


What are your policies around managing prescribed medications?

Students who have prescribed medications are responsible for maintaining their medications safely, and for maintaining their medication regimen.  Gap at Glen Brook staff will help students find safe and appropriate locations for storage, and will check in intermittently with students about their medications, but ultimately we expect all students to care for themselves in this way—they know their own medication needs best, after all!


Can Gap students bring their car?

All driving during Gap at Glen Brook is done by our licensed and approved staff.  Please do not bring a car for your son or daughter—they won’t need it!  Also, please note that transportation via motorcylce, ATV, or quad is not allowed while on-program.