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Gap Year: Good/Bad Essay

1782 words - 8 pages

Gap before higher education. Good or Bad?

Not every student graduating from high school wants to go to college. Some decide to directly enrol into college or university, while the others opt for a gap of a year prior to enrolling in higher education. The time period between high school graduation and arrival at college can be the result of several factors, including deferred admission at a student's college of choice or purposely taking a gap year to prepare for the next step of formal education. The argument arises when the students prefer taking gap to explore the world & to find some field they are interested in and when the parents worry about their children getting off track ...view middle of the document...

Gap years are popular with European and Australian students, but remain relatively rare in the Americas. However, in recent years more and more American students are preparing for college by taking a gap year.
Students who don't make their own plans often sign up for organized programs. Teens shouldn't be pressured to take a gap year, says Holly Bull, president of the centre for Interim Programs, a gap-year consultant in Princeton, N.J. "The core value of a gap year is to be able to say, 'I can choose and create my life.' That can't be forced upon you," she says. To benefit, a student should be able to set worthwhile goals. "If you're going to loiter around the margins of life for a year, you may be better off in the classroom," says Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, a Washington, D.C., group. And while living overseas is a good way to learn a language, other academic skills can get rusty. It is advisable for parents and students to consult the students who have taken gap years about the employment and safety because often students get off track and don’t enrol in college at all. Research says that 90% students who had taken gap years had returned to college within a year to guard against dropouts.
A gap year does not mean that a student is doomed to remain degree-less forever. While there are no formal studies on the number of students who never end up making their way to college post-gap, subjective evidence from admissions officers across the country says very few actually drop off the college radar. Taking a gap year can actually make kids more focused and ready for the firmness of academic life. In fact, Harvard, arguably the most competitive university in the country, believes so much in the gap year that they encourage every student they admit to consider a year off before matriculation. And Princeton has just announced a new program called the “bridge year” that will allow newly admitted students to spend a year performing public service abroad before beginning their freshman year. The reason behind higher education’s support of the gap year is clear: Better-prepared students mean higher completion rates. And it’s completion that matters.
Not all gap years are equal. A pattern followed to make the gap years successful. Gap years are about learning to be responsible in the real world. Students opting for gap years should be honest with themselves and should be sincere about the gap that they are about to take. A gap year should be a measured decision, not a stalling technique. It should never be used to avoid taking the SAT or ACT on time, stall the need to fill out college applications, or jump into the Senior Slide early. For students who’ve had less than stellar grades during senior year, a gap year offers a second chance to show solid performance, through an academic program abroad or some other curriculum-based program. Sometimes the gap year...

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