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Is it smart to take a gap year to work and apply for better schools next year?

I missed out on a lot of deadlines because I didn't want to go to a prestigious school, but now I'm reconsidering. If I take a gap year, can I apply next fall? How much more difficult will that be? #college #gap-year


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Maureen’s Answer

It is okay to take a gap year and still be accepted to a college in the future. In fact some folks don't go to college until much later like in their 30's or 40's. However, you should always consider why and if it makes sense to take a gap year. But overall it is never too late to learn. and to go to college.


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Kyle’s Answer

Hi Bella,

There is nothing wrong with taking a gap year. I took a gap year between high school and college where I worked. If you think you already have the grades to get into the schools you would like to apply for, I would say working for a year would be a good option to save up some money. However, if you think you need to work on your grades in order to get into the more prestigious school, I would recommend going to a community college or somewhere you can earn credits and prove you can get the good grades. Its usually a lot easier to transfer into a college, so if you have a good transcript from a previous school, you'll increase your chances of getting in.


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Cheyenne’s Answer

Hi Abby,

I get it. Preparing for any type of higher education can hard to navigate and cause some confusion, especially if you are still deciding on where you want your future to go. Since this is a big decision, I think it shouldn't be decided in a vacuum or under pressure. Taking a gap year is OKAY. For some, it allows them more time to find their passions and also gives them more time to visit schools, volunteer, and refocus before they dive into their education. If you have your sites set on a good university, go for it!! Universities typically don't mind if you've taken a gap year as long as you are able to show that you used that time to reflect, volunteer, or make yourself a better candidate! You got this!!

Cheyenne recommends the following next steps:

Find a good place to volunteer that is related to your major of interest
Visit your top schools and ask the admission officers or professor questions about the program and if they support the gap year and use that feedback in essays you may write for entry
Travel if you can before you find yourself invested in your studies

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Olivia’s Answer

Hi, I am a current college sophomore and see a lot of transfers into my private school. A gap year can be difficult because then you get set into the rhythm of work and life. An option that will keep you on track with your peers would be to attend a community or state school for a year or two (these are usually lower cost too) and then apply for a transfer into your dream schools. Make sure you keep your college GPA up and know that the older you are as a transfer the harder it may be.

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Lea’s Answer

Hi Bella,

I took a gap year after graduating college and going to law school and it did not hurt my chances of getting into law school. I would recommend finding a job in the field that you are thinking of majoring in or working in so it shows consistency and commitment to the area you eventually would like to work in. Plus working in a field you may be interested in shows you the type duties that are involved in a particular field. For instance, I worked as a paralegal before going to law school. Hope this helps.

Lea


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Misti’s Answer

Hi Bella,

I took a gap year after High School, and worked full-time. It did help me to decide what college and career path was right for me. I was a dedicated student in High School, so did not have any issues with being committed to returning to school for my Bachelor's degree. I did not pursue a Masters degree immediately after my Bachelor's degree and tried to complete it later in life. I found it very difficult after having been away from school for several years.

If you make a plan for what you want to accomplish during your gap year, and remain committed to returning to school once that time period is complete then I would recommend the choice. There have been studies showing that students may perform better in school after taking a gap year.

Best of Luck!


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Abby’s Answer

Hi Bella! I think your question was answered here: https://www.careervillage.org/questions/37778/what-is-a-gap-year-and-is-it-for-me

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