Jump to content

Menu

gap years and college applications


JennyD
 Share

Recommended Posts

Oldest DS is a sophomore.   We recently learned that there is a chance that we may be moving to a different area of the country in a couple of years.  We won't know whether we are moving until sometime towards the end of DS's senior year.  (None of our kids know about this possible move and we aren't sharing this info with them anytime soon.)

DS's college options are going to look quite different depending on where we are living, and I am somewhat flummoxed as how we're going to manage this whole process.  I guess he applies to schools to cover both possibilities?   If we do move, he -- and all of our kids -- have a much wider range of college choices.

DS already knows that he wants to take a gap year, however, and assuming the finances work out we are supportive of his intended gap year plans.  I understand that the usual recommendation is to apply to college during one's senior year and then defer for a year.  But in his case, it seems like it would be much better for him to wait and apply during his gap year, when our situation will be settled one way or the other.   Or perhaps there's a good reason why you're not supposed to do that?

Any thoughts?  I was already feeling quite daunted by this whole applying-to-college-as-a-homeschooler thing, then came the pandemic and all its attendant upheaval, and now this.  Makes a person just want to take a nap.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know someone who had to wait to move out-of-state until their se our officially began college, so he could be classified as in-state.


I have heard of other students being unable to qualify as in-state anywhere when their parents left the state they lived in for high school. 
 

so, I’m going to say what you should do depends heavily on what colleges your student wants to attend. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot will depend on what kinds of schools you are looking into... in-state residency qualification requirements, how competitive admissions are, etc. etc.

My oldest son is currently taking a gap year after deferring his acceptance for a year (deferral at his university was very easy). Lots of the hoops that we had to jump through in the admissions process assume that you are a current senior. Plenty of people apply to college during a gap year, of course, but I wonder how many little annoyances might pop up because the process is geared primarily towards high school seniors? It would be something to look into, and maybe you'd want to talk to other kids who applied after their graduation date to understand how the process went for them.

Many more students took gap years this year than normally (as one would imagine), so things are definitely skewed right now, but of all of those kids that my son has been in contact with, only 1 or 2 applied for admissions during their gap years. The vast majority applied and were accepted during their senior year. That certainly doesn't make it the way to go by any means (especially if you are going to be moving into a state that has some fabulous universities that your son could qualify as "in-state" for during his gap year!), but something to keep in mind. Letters of recommendation is another point I hear students talking about when applying after graduation. It would be good to make sure that his teachers for his LORs were recent enough that they could write him good letters even though he will have been graduated for at least 5 or 6 months before needing the letters. That may be a bit long for any great teachers he may have had in his sophomore or junior year of high school. Again, this may not be any kind of an issue depending on where he wants to apply and what relationships he may be maintaining with former teachers, but something to keep in mind.

Best of luck with your future planning! College admissions as a homeschooler was not as scary as I had feared (though boy was it a lot of paperwork for a "less than organized" person like myself, lol!). 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely look at what is considered in-state vs out of state. Some schools require a much longer period of residency than others, and parents moving after the student turns 18 may well lead to the parents being considered in state immediately, but the student needing to work a full year to be considered such for tuition purposes. And be aware that if financial aid is based, in part, on state scholarships that they often require being resident in the state during the senior year to qualify. In my state, that would leave about 5K additional uncovered even by the top scholarships every year. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are questions better suited to indiividual colleges/systems.  Some public U systems allow a student to qualify for instate tuition immediately if the reason for the move into the state was job related vs. for the purpose of receiving instate tuition.  Other states consider students OOS for 12 months regardless of why the family moved.  Whether or not applying as a sr or after a gap yr impacts admissions, I would ask admissions.  If the school is private, the entire IS/OOS is moot and then it simply is a discussion of when to apply.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously, as others have mentioned, there are lots of variable depending on the particular schools and things like in state status. That said. I know people who have done both. Ds is doing a gap year and did the apply and then defer method. Mainly because we felt like it wouldn’t really be a gap year if he had to worry about college applications. We wanted it to be a true break. I know a few others who have done a gap year or “super senior year” (which I don’t totally understand how they put it on transcripts) and applied after graduation.  It worked fine for the people I know. I think they all applied very early, like the summer right after graduation so that recommendations were less of an issue. And you have to make sure not to take classes at a college during the gap year and risk being seen as a transfer instead of a freshman. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...