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Talk to me about a gap year after high school

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Talk to me about a gap year after high school. I have heard there can be some disadvantages in scholarships? I am not sure how waiting a year to apply impacts the college application process. I have a child going into 9th next year who is already talking about taking a gap year after high school graduation (she is tired of school already and we haven't even gotten to the hard stuff yet, lol..) I am remaining neutral about this possibility and of course she may change her mind before that time. I would just like to research and understand any issues that might arise. I searched past threads but I didn't come up with much on this topic.


This would be for a public university or small, private LAC. Nothing Ivy league or super competitive as far as I can tell.


I will cross post this on the college boards as well.

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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My son did a gap year and applied during the fall after he graduated from high school.  It was great in that we knew the entire picture of his high school education, his transcript was finalized, he was able to take the ACT a year later than other applicants, and, best of all, he wasn't trying to juggle high school coursework and college applications.


I don't know about scholarship issues.  My son got merit aid everywhere he was accepted.


It is important to make sure she doesn't take college courses during the gap year because that will cause her to lose freshman status.


Some schools look at dual enrollment coursework differently if a student takes a gap year in that they require students who have gotten college credits in high school to apply as transfer students. 


I know that applying as a transfer student rather than a freshman can have scholarship consequences, so maybe this is what you're thinking of? 

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Yes, I read about this within the past week. I forget if it was a university, regarding the National Merit Scholarship, or some other Scholarship.  They would NOT provide the scholarship to someone who had taken a "Gap Year" after High School.  Also, there is the obvious and normal problem of forgetting what one has learned, over time, if one is not using it. That happens just during Summer vacations from Brick and Mortar schools, so would be greatly exacerbated during a Gap Year.  I remember telling my DD about that...

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My middle daughter is having a year off. I don't know if "gap year" is the right vocabulary word to describe what she's doing since she is not in some fancy program. 


in terms of admission:

Originally, the college we thought she'd attend just deferred her admission.  No big deal with that.  just asked to change her from fall 17 to fall 18.  no reason given.  nice, smaller, local place.   scholarships stayed and all of that. but she wasn't national merit level either.


Then we realized she didn't really want to go there and will end up at the community college.  during her time off, she is working with a special needs dept at a local church to provide shadowing, and with a local homeschool PE class as assistant to the coaches.  She also cleans parts of the church (it's a very large building/community center).  And so far, through self study, has passed 3 CLEP exams that will count for gen ed requirements at the college that accepted her originally and the community college. and she plans to get a few more clep exams done so that she only has to take a handful of courses toward the associates she desires for paraprofessional work in early childhood ed.

The one scholarship that would be danger is a state grant.  If she doesn't start at either college by this fall (which is 16 months following high school graduation date), then that eligibility is gone.

There was also a state grant that she is not eligible to use at community college level that is program providing "last funds". That has to be started right after graduation. 


maybe none of that applies to situations of others on this forum since it's not about going to super selective universities, nor involving big things mentioned in gap years.



ps:  the 4 year college did tell us that she couldn't take college courses during gap year and keep scholarship as she'd be considered transfer student.  clep exams were not an issue to them .  In some ways, I almost wished we had just listed this year as her 5th year of high school or something.  but then I'd probably be second guessing myself on that.

Edited by cbollin
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