As the cost of college continues to escalate, more U.S. students are considering taking a few years off to consider their options. This trend, which is common for many European countries, arguably will give kids the opportunity to gain work experience, redefine career goals and review potential employment opportunities. Other students are finding that because the cost of college has risen so much they also may need more time to find additional grants, scholarships and financial support.
Experts weigh in on taking time off
Not all students can afford to tour Europe, but taking time off, according to experts, can allow a child to explore other interests, which experts argue could help them when they do decide to enter college, especially academically. How many of us jumped into school without any idea about what we may have wanted to do? That may have been fine at $1,500 per semester. At $15,000- I doubt it.
School officials have also weighed in on the decision to wait. At some schools officials have noticed that students who do take a year off on average have a higher than predicted G.P.A based on their high school academic credentials.
Make sure your reasons are sound for waiting to go to college
Experts note, however, that if you are considering taking a year off before heading to college it’s important to do it for the right reasons. Resting on your laurels or sitting around doing nothing isn’t going to help you. If you feel like you need time to find the right school or need more information about your potential career options, however, taking time off may help.
How do you avoid wasting your time? Accomplishing any goal requires a plan. If you do decide to take time off for a year it’s important to write down your goals. Do you need more information about career choices? Maybe spend a year working in the industry you are considering.
According to experts your “gap year” should give you a particular direction and purpose. Making and saving money may also be critical so you will not only be emotionally and educationally ready for college, but also financially ready.
How can you decide what you should do with your gap year? According to a recent Fox Business story, volunteering and service opportunities may be the perfect way to develop new, fresh ideas. If that doesn’t work, you can apply for part-time jobs or apply for specialized certifications.
Future employers may value experience
Not only can working before you go to college give you more experience, it can also give you more information about what major to pursue in college. Employers may also view work experience as a plus, leading to resume building opportunities. This could help in the future to differentiate your resume from other potential job candidates.
What is the main benefit of the gap year? It can help a student not only save more money for college, but also help them develop their professional goals. In the end this will eliminate what most of us did in college- moving around from major to major. That may have been fine for us, but it won’t work for this generation of students
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