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College Talk Blog

Taking a year off from college can be risky

I admit to not being a fan of the "gap" year. Gap year refers to the idea of high school grads taking a year off before starting college. The concept sounds like a good idea to exhausted high school seniors and maybe parents worried about paying college tuition. But students who take a gap year are cutting themselves out of some scholarships.

There is an even larger risk involved. Research shows that students who take time off during college have a 26% chance of not going back. That is my fear about the gap year. I'm afraid high school grads will move on with their lives to the extent that they will incur debt for cars and other large ticket items not realizing that the new debt could keep them from being able to start college.

I do know some seniors who are planning exciting gap years and who have applied to colleges that will accept them now and let them  take their year off to gain great experiences. Students who think a gap year is for them need to plan very carefully.

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