More and more students are postponing freshman year in college and choosing internships, study abroad, and public service. Why take a year off? In some cases, students are not quite ready to commit to the rigors and or costs of campus life, or may be seeking opportunities to help define their interests. According to Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, there has been an upward shift in the popularity of a gap year both in student interest as well as college response. Of special note is the focus on public service. Dickinson College, for example, offers a fellowship in the form of a $10,000 tuition credit for each year of public service. Princeton University recently initiated the Bridge Program, covering a student’s primary expenses and more depending on need for nine months of volunteer work.  Veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan and recipients of AmeriCorps assistance can receive matching grants from over 1,165 and 80 colleges, respectively. Regardless of the reason behind a year off, a study of 300 students conducted by Karl Haiglar, author of the Gap Advantage, indicates that 90% chose to return to college after one year. The same study showed that 60% identified a potential academic/career interest from their experience. Would you be interested in holding off on college? Let me know your thoughts.

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