All Kinds of News for February 05, 2020
Amid the college-debt crisis and decreasing college enrollment, there is one buzzy trend in higher education that is on the rise: the gap year option. With more students craving career-related experiences and self-discovery after high school, taking a gap year is growing in popularity in the US. Gap Year Exploration Month - celebrated annually in the month of February - is a shared initiative of educators, experiential education experts, program providers, industry groups and others who understand the benefits of a gap year.
“We are seeing more and more students every year making the deliberate choice to learn more about themselves and their academic and personal interests before embarking on higher education, “ says Julia Rogers, Board President of the Gap Year Association, a national nonprofit dedicated to the growth of the gap year movement.
Gap year students can do any number of things with their experience, including group service learning, volunteering, interning, working abroad, national service, studying languages, traveling and more. “Gap year students participate in a huge variety of activities – no two gap years look alike. The benefit of this type of customized, experiential learning to an individual is immense.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, fewer than 40 percent of students enrolling in college in 2020 will finish their degrees within four years. Those that do will emerge from college with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt. For this reason, more and more students are deferring their college enrollment for a year of travel, personal growth, and professional skills development.
"Gap Year students often earn better grades in college [and] the positive effects of taking a gap year appear to endure over all four years of college," according to Robert Clagget, founder of the Gap Year Research Consortium at Colorado College and former dean of Middlebury College.
Students, parents and counselors can get involved with Gap Year Exploration Month by attending in-person or virtual events nationwide, by following the hashtag #explorethegapyear on social media for news and contests and by visiting The Gap Year Exploration Month here for more information.
Board President of the Gap Year Association