Research + News | Topic: Gap Year

Gap Year Planning

What is a gap year — and what does it mean to take one?

Read the article here.

Why More High-School Seniors Need to Be Like Malia Obama And Take a Gap Year

The gap year provides space to explore careers, work and earn money, and learn new skills. Read the article here.

Why a Gap-Year?

Derek Melleby writes a guest post on the Reach Students blog about the benefits of a Gap Year. Read the post here.

Getting In To College Doesn’t Mean Students Are Ready to Go

A post on the Motherlode blog of the New York Times says: “Let’s not equate college admission with college readiness. The skills needed to graduate from high school and get into college have surprisingly little in common with those needed to manage, much less thrive, away from home in an undergraduate setting. There should be no shame in ‘taking time off.'”

Read the full article here.

Gap Years Give Students a Break

site-masthead-logo@2xAn editorial in USA Today discusses the value of high school students taking “time off” before going college.  

USA Today’s national K-12 education writer, Greg Toppo, writes: 

“I hear this complaint a lot actually, both from teachers and students. School has become a kind of treadmill that many kids can’t wait to escape. Indiana University’s High School Survey of Student Engagement in 2010 found that 65% of students reported being bored “at least every day in class.” Sixteen percent reported that they were bored in every class

If you think that only marginal students seek a graceful exit from the treadmill, think again. Harvard University, that bastion of hyper-driven young adults, not only allows but encourages admitted freshmen to defer their enrollment for a year, suggesting they ‘travel, pursue a special project or activity, work or spend time in another meaningful way.’

Harvard admissions officials have been recommending this for 40 years, saying part of the university’s above-average 98% graduation rate may be due, at least in part, to the fact that so many students take time off. Each year, Harvard says, 80 to 110 new students defer their arrival on campus through a gap year.”

Read the full article here.

Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs

GapYearThe Johns Hopkins University Press has recently published an important book by Dr. Joseph O’Shea entitled Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs. From the publishers description:

“With some of the most prestigious universities in America urging students to defer admissions so they can experience the world, the idea of the gap year has taken hold in America… Until now, there has been no systematic study of how the gap year helps students develop as young scholars and citizens. Joseph O’Shea has produced the first empirically based analysis of a gap year’s influence on student development. He also establishes a context for better understanding this personal development and suggests concrete ways universities and educators can develop effective gap year programs.”

Read more here.

Read an article by the author for Inside Higher Ed here.

More Gap Year resources from CTI here.

Is College a Lousy Investment?

Mythomania about college has turned getting a degree into an American neurosis. It’s sending parents to the poorhouse and saddling students with a backpack full of debt that doesn’t even guarantee a good job in the end. With college debt making national headlines, Newsweek Magazine reporter Megan McArdle asks, is college a bum deal?

Read the full article here.

Watch a video about the article here.