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gap year and college application

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We are considering a gap year between high school

and college.


What I don't know is, whether you're supposed to

apply to the college during your regular senior year

or during your gap year.


Normal people who don't take a gap year have to turn

in applications in the fall or winter just before the Fall Semester

when their college starts, right? So maybe for example, you

need to turn in your college application by December 1, 2011

or January 1st 2012

if you are going to college Fall of 2012? Am I correct?


So if you are taking a gap year should you do the same thing and then do

Deferred Admission? Or should you just apply the year after, in the

middle of your gap year? Are both OK?

Does it affect how colleges see you in terms of a good candidate

for admission? (I guess it matters what

you were doing that gap year too.)

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Our teens applied to colleges while they were seniors in high school. They each went into a structured program that was out of the country for 9 months and they were advised that they would find it difficult to find the time and opportunity to fill out applications during their time overseas. My son had a few friends who waited and did have difficulty but were successful.


My son had to apply to his future college for permission to take a gap year, explaining the educational benefit of his program. My daughter only had to notify her college of when she would be starting.


So, I think it depends. If he/she has a college preference, then certainly ask the college. And consider whether your child will have the time and opportunity to apply during the gap year.


Ruth in NC

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It all depends; some colleges allow you to defer, others do not. For the ones that don't, then there's no point in applying yet. My son applied during his senior year and was accepted, and then requested to defer a year, which they allowed. It gave him a peace of mind during his gap year to know that the following year was all in place.


My next two didn't apply for college until during their gap year. This was mostly because during their senior year they were not thinking about college, but were planning their gap year! They had no idea what colleges they even wanted to apply to.


If your child KNOWS which college he wants to attend after his gap year, then he might as well apply during his senior year -- assuming they would allow him to defer a year. (Sorry -- I can't remember if you said son or daughter, so perhaps I should have said "she" instead of "he.") But otherwise, he can always wait and apply the following year. If he does something interesting during his gap year, it might look really good on his college application!

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And consider whether your child will have the time and opportunity to apply during the gap year.


Ruth in NC


Good point. It would have been very difficult for my son to apply during his gap year. My daughters, on the other hand, did have the time.

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Like the others, my son applied during high school (public schooled kid). He knew where he wanted to go to college and actively pursued that admission, which he got. Then he joined the Army Reserves and requested a hold on his admission. They held everything for him, including grant amounts.


Maybe it depends on the "why" or what the gap year looks like? I have a hard time thinking they'd hold things a year "just because"?



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