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How do college admissions officers view a gap year?

1 Answer, 0 Replies
Mark Cruver
Mark Cruver  replied:
Taking a year off from school can seem like a great idea for the most part.  But before you decide to wait another year to apply to college, there are several critical questions to ask yourself first. 

  1. Do I have a plan during this "gap year?"  --  Without a plan for this year between high school and college, it is likely going to go against you in the long run! 
  2. Will this gap year have purpose and contribute to my future? -- The gap year can include a prescribed experience, an immersion, or even a job or internship.  It should be a year with a purpose!
  3. Am I able to articulate my intentions for taking a gap year?  --  Clear intent is important!  Do you intend on participating in a residential internship, experience wilderness education, immerse yourself into the world of music or take on local work to support your family?  These and many more are excellent choices, so long as you are able to articulate your intention.
  4. When do I need to decide on what I'm doing for a gap year and who needs to know?  --  It's important to begin thinking as early in your high school years as possible about whether or not a gap year is right for you.  In most, if not all cases, students will apply for admissions at the beginning of their senior year, clearly communicating with the admissions office, through their application, of their intent to have a gap year experience.  Communicating your plan, purpose and intent will provide the insight necessary in the office of admissions to move forward.  In the event you are accepted, your decision day remains the same as everyone else's (May 1) and will likely include an enrollment deposit too.  The only difference between you and your fellow classmates is your first day on the college campus will be the following year after successfully completing the gap year experience.