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Anyone's kid taking a gap year (who's already in college)?


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due to COVID.

How does this work if the student is on scholarship?

My dd will be a sophomore. She is extremely introverted as it is. If her classes end up mostly online, she'll end up more isolated than if she just stayed home. She doesn't care one way or the other. I'm thinking...The cost is not worth it w/out the "experience". She attends an SEC school. I know a lot of people would think that's crazy talk, but after being home schooled, I really want her to have THE EXPERIENCE. Football games, in person classes, campus organizations... Plus, she's an art major. I feel like the quality of her education will suffer if it has to be done remotely. Her school so far says it will have in person classes, but this is all very fluid. Policies are changing day to day. 2 of her classes are already online for fall.

She missed a lot of class last spring semester due to having two back to back illnesses. It really affected her grades. I can't even imagine how much class would have to be missed if she catches COVID. ETA: She is sick as of yesterday. Pediatrician thinks it's COVID. She got swabbed this afternoon. Waiting for results.

ETA: my dd is on scholarship. If gap year means she loses the scholarship, she'll have to attend. I've emailed the scholarship office but haven't heard back. 

 

Edited by popmom
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My ds (recently graduated high school) has decided to defer and work instead.  All his classes would be online, and he doesn't want that right now. 

Who knows, a year of full time work may change his mind. 😉

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My music student would lose his scholarship so he’s going.  I suspect most schools are treating that similarly but you will need to contact the school.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

My music student would lose his scholarship so he’s going.  I suspect most schools are treating that similarly but you will need to contact the school.

I have either heard or read SWB talking about gap years. She said it wouldn't affect scholarship offers. She actually recommended it--going ahead and getting accepted, taking the scholarship then asking for a deferral. Maybe I'm not remembering all that correctly. Or I wonder if this is a recent change due to the pandemic. 

Will your student be an incoming freshman?

 

Edited by popmom
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From what I'm reading on our uni's website, a student can withdraw for a semester or two and still be considered a student of said university. But more than a year and you have to reapply? I think I'm understanding that correctly. I'm hoping that means my dd could elect to sit out a year and keep her scholarship. 

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My DD's college says If you are already a student (my dd is a sophomore), you cannot take a gap year (or a semester off) and keep your scholarship unless you are working at an official college-related (sponsored? Affiliated? Can't think of the word) co-op job.

Many parents have asked.

SWB's advice doesn't work for every school & I think hers was for kids who had not already started college. I know our state flagship does not allow gap year-deferrals after admission from a scholarship stand point.

My kid is very excited to get back to school this semester even if some of her classes are online. Her school is hoping to pull off some blended/ hybrid classes and a handful of in person ones.

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Traditionally schools have always made it easy for freshman to defer a year and take a gap year while keeping their admissions and financial package.  I know a number of rising college freshman who are doing that.   Your School may be more flexible.   But I don’t know any current students taking a semester or year off that have significant scholarships.   My kid’s school is encouraging students who want to take the year off to take a single class online so they maintain student status.  
 

good luck!

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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My husband wants our son to take a gap year, enough so that he has made it very clear to me about this. This decision from my husband just happened yesterday.

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For those who have a just-graduated high school student who will be taking a gap year before starting as a college freshman, check out these threads (on PAGE 6 of the pinned College Motherlode thread) for tips and ideas about taking a gap year. Of course, the pandemic is throwing all kinds of things out of whack, so some of these past experiences and tips may not fit for this year... But it's a starting place for planning. 😉

Let’s chat about gap years
Revisiting the gap year concept
Talk to me about a gap year after high school
Gap year ideas: have we lost our minds (specifically a wilderness experience)
When to apply for college when a gap year is being planned?
Gap year and financial aid 

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Like others who have students already attending college, my DS will not be taking a gap year due to Covid, because he would lose his transfer student scholarship and his additional scholarship as well.  It’s a bummer that his fall classes will all be online. I hope he gets to have some in person classes in the spring, which will be his final semester other than an internship. God is in control, and things will work out one way or the other! 

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Posted (edited)

Scholarship office replied to my email. They will allow a deferral for one semester for special circumstances, study abroad, internships, etc. So we would have to have a special circumstance. I'm leaving it up to dd to decide. She has severe ADHD (inattentive). She has documentation with office of accessibility and also is part of a program that supports (coaching) students with disabilities. Part of the reason we got her into that program was because of how much she struggled with the online classes last spring. So that would be our special circumstance. We personally know of 2 students in recent years on scholarship who took an entire year off, and the university held the scholarships for them. 

I got an email from that coaching program that said the uni will announce class modalities on Aug 1. The options they listed--we had never even heard of them. Here are the possibilities: (if any of y'all can shed some light on this, I'd be greatly appreciative.) 

"On August 1st, the University will publish the course modalities for Fall. Please review your Fall 2020 schedule to determine how your class will be offered: 1) Face to Face, 2) Online (synchronous, asynchronous or mixed), 3) blended or 4) HyFlex. I will be available next week to discuss any changes or answer questions, just email or text me for an appointment. "

Edited by popmom
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9 hours ago, popmom said:

Scholarship office replied to my email. They will allow a deferral for one semester for special circumstances, study abroad, internships, etc. So we would have to have a special circumstance. I'm leaving it up to dd to decide. She has severe ADHD (inattentive). She has documentation with office of accessibility and also is part of a program that supports (coaching) students with disabilities. Part of the reason we got her into that program was because of how much she struggled with the online classes last spring. So that would be our special circumstance. We personally know of 2 students in recent years on scholarship who took an entire year off, and the university held the scholarships for them. 

I got an email from that coaching program that said the uni will announce class modalities on Aug 1. The options they listed--we had never even heard of them. Here are the possibilities: (if any of y'all can shed some light on this, I'd be greatly appreciative.) 

"On August 1st, the University will publish the course modalities for Fall. Please review your Fall 2020 schedule to determine how your class will be offered: 1) Face to Face, 2) Online (synchronous, asynchronous or mixed), 3) blended or 4) HyFlex. I will be available next week to discuss any changes or answer questions, just email or text me for an appointment. "

Online synchronous means the class meets at a certain time each week. The student must be able to attend class at that time. 

Online Asynchronous means that the class does not meet at a certain time each week. There will still be weekly due dates (in most cases), but the student can structure their own learning time. 

Mixed is just both - The class I TA for is like that. The large lectures will be taught by the instructor online asynchronous, while the smaller breakout sections I teach will meet at a certain time each week via Zoom. 

Blended means partially online and partially in person. One of my son's classes is that way - he's not sure yet what will be face to face, probably tests due to the nature of the class. 

 

HTH

 

 

 

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All of my kids had a gap year between high school and college.  A couple already had a college plan, accepted scholarships, and then deferred a year.

But, that's different than if you do a gap year once you're already started.  I guess you'd need to check with individual schools, but I imagine they have pretty strict policies in place due to Covid.

That said, one of my dd's took a gap semester after her first year and was able to keep her scholarship.  She did have to get prior official approval, or it would not have been allowed.  They allowed her to do it due to special family circumstances.  

I also wanted to add that if your dd is extremely introverted and doesn't seem to care either way, you might want to consider going ahead with school anyway.  One of my dd's was like that, and even with 4 years of living on campus (my only child who did, actually), she pretty much went from her dorm to to her class and back to her dorm again!  By her senior year she was doing a little bit more.  🙂 

Would your dd feel awkward taking a gap year, and going back to school a year behind her classmates?  I guess that's something else to consider.

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On 7/28/2020 at 11:54 PM, popmom said:

I have either heard or read SWB talking about gap years. She said it wouldn't affect scholarship offers. She actually recommended it--going ahead and getting accepted, taking the scholarship then asking for a deferral. Maybe I'm not remembering all that correctly. Or I wonder if this is a recent change due to the pandemic. 

Pre-covid, it was very common that schools would approve a deferral and keep the scholarship offer intact, but it was never guaranteed. It is always 100% up to the specific school. 

My guess, and it is strictly a guess, is that colleges will not be financially able to approve a large number of deferrals this year, particularly with scholarships involved. Same for taking a year or semester off when you are already a student. It puts them in the position of having much less income this year, and putting out much more money next year. That doesn't mean a special circumstance won't get approved, I just think they won't be able to approve everyone if they get a large number of requests. I don't know that this year can be compared to prior years in any meaningful way. 

Has your dd made any friends at school, even very casual friends to eat lunch with and such? If she has, I would consider sending her unless you have actual safety concerns. If she is quite introverted, resetting the clock on finding a friend group can be really tough. And going to college during a pandemic will create its own special memories, lol, more unique than the usual football games. 

How far away is her school?   

It's a very hard decision in your situation.  

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My oldest son's college allows a gap of up to 4 quarters before they require a student to reapply, and if they go back within that time frame they do not lose their scholarship.

My 2nd son didn't get a scholarship so I don't know how that would have worked, but he is taking a break.  He had an internship with Disney, but that fell through after Covid hit.  So, instead, he is on a 6 month training/mission with YWAM.  He plans to go back to school in January if it is in-person.

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DD has requested the forms to request the deferral, but she is still undecided. She did not make a single new friend last year. Not one. So there is no one to sit by at lunch or anything like that. I think that's one of my concerns (among many). Actually, the whole sitting by someone at lunch won't even be a thing this year at her college. I think all dining options are take out only. That's kind of my point. This is not going to be a year conducive to making friends. It's complicated, of course. I can't get in to all the issues playing in to this.

New development: she is sick right now. Pediatrician thinks it's COVID, so we got a test this afternoon. If she's positive, I doubt she'll be able to attend at least the first week of classes, so she'll be behind from the get go. Not good. I need to find out the details how many days post symptoms students are required to quarantine. Everything is just complicated and depressing and scary right now--for everyone.

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