A “Gap Year” is an intentional decision to take time off between graduating high school and beginning in college or a career. It is recommended that a student considering this experience still apply to college as a senior and then defer their admission if they choose to take time off. Programs range in length from a few weeks, to a full semester, to a full year. Many students, if taking a whole year off, combine several shorter programs or experiences to cover the year. Reasons to pursue a Gap Year range from wanting to test out an intended major or career before investing in four years of college to wanting to
reignite a passion for the next steps through connecting education to real-world experience. Programs vary widely in cost, but financial aid is sometimes available. Some programs are similar to “study abroad” experiences, whereas others are specifically focused on language immersion, community service, or wilderness exploration.Information on just a few of the thousands of programs is listed below according to general category.
Companies that offer search services to help students set up a Gap Year
Center for Interim Programs, LLC
Database of over 5,000 opportunties, scholarships.
Jane Sarouhan, Vice President, Massachusetts Office,
Free comprehensive guide to Gap Year Programs