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My advice is to research, research, research -- and get in writing -- what each college's policies are on your 4 questions. I am not an expert on gap year or admissions -- the following is just my reflections.

1.) I gather that for some colleges it is better for your admission chances -- and scholarship awards -- to apply at the normal time (fall of 12th grade), be accepted and offered financial aid, and then discuss taking a gap year deferment. For other colleges, it does not appear to matter. So check now, to leave time for applying this fall if that is what colleges want.

2.) Some colleges have a deadline for the latest date of when they will accept CLEPs -- for example, it may be a date during the spring of 12th grade. If that is the policy for the college your student ends up attending, any CLEPs taken after high school graduation would most likely NOT be counted as credit-by-exam.

Also, some colleges not only have a limit to how many transfer credits (dual enrollment + courses from other colleges + AP + CLEP) will be accepted towards a degree, but some colleges also have a total limit as to how many transfer credits the student can have before it bumps them out of freshman status. (From a college's perspective, it is not in their financial interest to have students take a gap year and fill it with CLEP tests in order to avoid a year of actual courses through the college.)

Short answer: be very very careful and find out the CLEP policy for each and every college you intend to apply to before taking a lot of CLEP tests.

3.) NO. Take NO classes. ANY college classes (even audited classes) taken after high school graduation (which includes the summer directly after high school graduation/before start of college) will knock the student from freshman status to transfer student status, and loses the student eligibility for freshman scholarships, which are the largest awards, and are the renewable (good for 4 years) scholarships. There are far fewer scholarships for transfer students, and they are usually for smaller amounts and usually only 1-time awards (only good for 1 year).

4.) Uncertain. Usually, if a college has a test deadline, it is that they want an ACT/SAT score from within 2 years of entrance to college (which sounds like no further back than the end of 10th grade or start of 11th grade). I would *guess* (be sure to check for sure!), that this would be similar for the gap year: if applying in 12th grade, then they might accept that 2-years back score; but if waiting until after the gap year to apply for college, then they might want a score from no later back than 12th grade. That's just a GUESS.


Two random thoughts that I'm just going to volunteer, FWIW (lol)

#1 -- Esp. if DD is young (as in, she would be graduating at age 16 or 17), making May of 2020 your official high school graduation date might save you a lot of headache, since you want to try and do a lot of things that would accrue college credits -- through exams (AP, CLEP), but also possibly taking summer session college courses. Her new senior year (2019-20) would then be filled with AP courses/tests, possible a college dual enrollment course or two, and experiences (travel, auditions, music tutoring) that could be gathered up into a special "senior project" or "senior practicum" on her transcript. And it would mean not potentially jeopardizing her college admission acceptance or freshman eligibility. Just a thought.

#2 -- My understanding is that music performance is an incredibly competitive degree field; I would be sure to talk to EACH of the colleges DD intends to apply to and find out how they (a.) handle gap years, and (2.) how they would look a gap year that is filled with travel, auditions, and credit by exam (AP & CLEP) in order to enter college with more credits -- i.e., will DD's specific gap year plans help or hurt her chances of acceptance and possible scholarships? Again, just a thought!

Edited by Lori D.
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11 hours ago, easypeasy said:

N/M because I realized the question is really too broad and we’re going to have to ask each school individually for their policies anyway ?

Ug. Sorry that that the responses to your questions all had to be: "Ask the schools." (:P

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