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The Benefits (and Risks) of a GAP Year In Tough Economic Times

The New York Times carried an article yesterday, entitled
Delaying College for a Year Could Have Benefits, which lays out a few creative reasons for putting off college for a year.

The financial arguments boil down to this:

1.  President Obama’s proposed changes to federal student aid may put a few hundred dollars more per year in a student’s coffers (of course, the plan will have to get through Congress first…but perhaps, “yes, it can”).

2.  The economy could get a bit better, meaning that money Mom and Dad have set aside might be worth a bit more tomorrow than it is today (of course, it could also be worth less…but who wants to think that way?).

As the article attests, it is tough to get many students pumped up about a Gap Year, because it just “isn’t the norm.”  However, I like the idea of a Gap Year for many students who really don’t have a solid direction, who maybe don’t love school so much and need a break, or for kids who want to take advantage of their youth while they still have it.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d certainly take a Gap Year.  In fact, I’d like to take a Gap Year now.

What is that quotation about how youth is wasted on the young?  Who said that?

Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant

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Reader Interactions


  1. Agreed! I think it would be great to have a Gap Year right now. We should start a movement among working adults. “A Gap Year For the Rest of Us”…

  2. I received a link to this post this morning and I have great news for both Marks; we’re happy to arrange wonderful planned gap years for mid and post career adults. Do now what you wish you’d done when you were younger ;-)…or leave it for the young.

  3. Thanks Mark. I have a Senior son who’s eagerly awaiting admission decisions in the next couple of weeks. He isn’t considering a gap year yet, but I’ll be suggesting it to him as an option when gets down to making his final decision.

    Here’ are several other resources listed in, ranked and commented on by its members, that describe the more traditional benefits of taking a gap year:

  4. Great news, Walter! I’m glad to know that there are organizations that have not forgotten that adults are people, too! Thanks for getting in touch.

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