Taking a Gap or Bridge Year
Worried that a year or two on GPA might set your son or daughter back in their academic education? The best colleges and universities in the US are increasingly recognizing the value for a young person taking a “gap year” after high school, or a break during one’s college education.
We searched for and found some encouraging articles regarding taking a gap year, articles which we believe might be of interest to you.
Taking time off before college is recognized as beneficial
Admissions counselors at professional schools tell us that taking time off for school is rarely a disadvantage for an applicant. In fact, they often choose the student who took a year off and is ready to become fully engaged in school over the one who has been on autopilot and will burn out in a few months.
Perhaps the best way of all to get the full benefit of a “time-off” is to postpone entrance to college for a year. For nearly 40 years, Harvard has recommended this option, indeed proposing it in the letter of admission. Normally a total of about 80 to 110 students defer college until the next year.
The results have been uniformly positive. Harvard’s daily student newspaper, The Crimson, reported (5/19/2000) that students who had taken a year off found the experience “so valuable that they would advise all Harvard students to consider it.” Harvard’s overall graduation rate of 98 percent is among the highest in the nation, perhaps in part because so many students take time off. One student, noting that the majority of her friends will simply spend eight consecutive terms at Harvard, “wondered if they ever get the chance to catch their breath.”
Here are links to some full, informative articles for your perusal.
The GPA program is highly recommended
Both of my 2 boys attended and then were admitted to an Ivy League school. They have decent grades but not as high as some. I believe they got accepted because they could talk about ‘building wells for poor people in Guatemala’. Both university recruiters and big companies love to accept young people who are ‘balanced’ and have traveled and done creative and sacrificial work.
Dorothy Hill, Red Hook, NY
You can read more of Dorothy’s testimony on our site and worry no more.