Taking on a gap year seems like a feasible way for high school students to prepare for college, but there are potential risks of losing valuable time and resources by straying away from Academia.
Statistics show the benefits of a gap year outweigh its disadvantages, so most students tend to make this decision for various reasons. Forming a savings account, a new job experience or personal growth can seem delightful, but there are dire details that seem to get overlooked.
A consequence of booking a gap year is that students tend to miss out on several opportunities such as getting familiar with college and transfer programs.
Months or years spent toiling can distract the student from their academic path. Forgetting about application processes also makes it more challenging to enroll in classes and register for financial aid.
A gap year doesn’t only make enrollment a painful process; it also can decrease the income of a student’s future career choice.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said high school graduates with no college degree had median weekly earnings of $726 compared to $1,310 for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
Investing longer periods of time outside of school can place a student academically behind, thus lowering transfer rates.
According to the Gap Year Association, those who took a gap year between high school and postsecondary education had the lowest transfer rate (16 percent), while those who took a leave of absence had the highest transfer rate (30 percent).
Many students realize too far into their gap year that they’ve lost essential skills they had in high school. The complication regarding an adjustment back to educational structure can discourage many high school graduates to continue their academic progress.
Balancing college and a social life can present itself as the biggest obstacle for most students. A student might have a friend who took a gap year, while they chose to jump right into a college education. That friend most likely has lost connection with the student since they chose to not be on the same route.
Students delay their academic progression in the form of using a gap year for college preparation. Many factors are put at stake when a career or family life is prioritized over educational achievement.
Although the benefits sound promising, students should reconsider jumping into a gap year in order to stay on track and avoid possible financial struggles.