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Exactly what is gap year? In what methods gap year can structure your children school admission and learning
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Mathew Haiden
By Mathew Haiden
Published on October 28, 2011
 
It feels like the concept regarding "taking a gap year" is rising in acceptance with homeschoolers. A gap year is a time frame (commonly between 6 months and a year long) when the high school graduate will take a job or possibly will do some volunteer work to get experience before starting their college career.

Exactly what is gap year? In what methods gap year can structure your children school admission and
It feels like the concept regarding "taking a gap year" is rising in acceptance with homeschoolers. A gap year is a time frame (commonly between 6 months and a year long) when the high school graduate will take a job or possibly will do some volunteer work to get experience before starting their college career.

Gap Year procedures differ WIDELY among colleges. Certain colleges claim if you take one, you can be viewed as a transfer. Other colleges (this includes Ivy League colleges) will admit you, grant you wonderful scholarships, ENCOURAGE you to take a gap year, and ALSO allow you to get your scholarships and freshman standing when you come back! The fact is, any kind of specific recommendations I provide on this topic will likely be incomplete. Your best option will be to speak to three or four colleges that your child will MOST like to
head to, and talk to them specifically with regards to their gap year information. Do not forget also that their guidelines could change from year to year. In addition, be careful to receive assurance that the policy they quote you is "grandfathered" and is not going to change if your student leaves for a year!

Even when your student is thinking about a year off, you will need to put together your application and fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in their senior year! If they do not apply as a senior, then they certainly COULD VERY WELL be viewed as a transfer student and lose out on quite a few freshman scholarships. For that reason have them submit an application when they are still in high school.

Basic suggestions: prepare the applications like any other student, together with transcript, reading lists, and course descriptions. In one of the application essays, they should center on their gap year plans, what specifically they will do and what they intend to achieve. Don't forget the essay is ENTIRELY written by the student. However, you as the parent are able to help your student brainstorm points to include in that essay. While your student finishes the application and essay, you can speak to the colleges to investigate their policy. Be sure that you take a look at each college, as well as have your student speak personally with someone in the admission office. That is as good as an "interview" and can go a long way to showing they genuinely are taking a gap year and not simply goofing off.

Certainly, send in the FAFSA. Colleges will base their financial aid choices on the FAFSA, and (with luck) that financial aid choice will carry over when your student comes back. You do not want your child to come back with a college admission but not be in a position to pay for the college!

Gap year is NOT affected by "dual enrollment" college courses. Those are college level classes taken at community college or online that are taken while the student is technically a high school student. Any time they have dual enrollment credits, you insert the information from the community college course onto the high school transcript, to verify that it is "dual enrollment" and NOT simply a college class. Only college classes taken FOLLOWING high school graduation will mess up your gap year. Your student can take anything PRIOR TO graduation but NOTHING following graduation (no classes during the gap year. )#).

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