TeenLife Blog

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February is Gap Year Exploration Month

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  • There is incredible diversity in gap year options, price ranges, and experiences available.
  • Gap year graduates perform better on college GPAs.
  • Gap year graduates complete their Bachelors Degrees at a median of 3.75 years (versus the national average of 6+).
  • Gap year graduates are more satisfied with their careers.
  • 90% of gap year graduates are back in college within a year of completing their gap year.

More students every year are choosing to take a gap year after high school, and this February the gap year movement is launching its second annual month-long campaign to encourage students to explore the option and its myriad benefits. Gap Year Exploration Month seeks to empower students to understand the vast array of opportunities available for gapping, and research paths that are right for them. There is an option that fits every student, and we’re keen to share them all!

The data on gap year outcomes is compelling, and while we encourage you to take a look at the research, ultimately the experience of nearly every gap year alumni has been profoundly informative to their future path. Fundamentally, taking some time away to expand your horizons and get informed about potential futures is simply a wise use of time - especially considering the rising costs of a college diploma.

The Gap Year Association and its entire movement is built around the idea that taking time to clarify future goals is a smart strategy: before you commit to the next 20 years, taking time away to gain perspective and research your options is smart calculus - especially when it can save you time and money in the long run.

Gap Year Exploration Month Calendar of Events:

This year we have a robust calendar of online and in-person events happening across the US (and online!). Check out the links and descriptions on this calendar. Almost all of the online events this year are hosted through an innovative partnership with Streamable U - with specific sessions about gap year programs; how to fund a gap year; who takes a gap year; best advice for a gap year; and how to interface with college if you take a gap year. As well, the month is packed with brick-and-mortar events at more than 40 high schools around the country. A complete listing of all the USA Gap Year Fairs around the country can be found online.

If you have any to add yourself, please share so we can add them to the roster!

Gap Year Students and Gap Year Alumni - Enter for a chance to Win $500!

This year, the Gap Year Association is proud to launch two contests to win $500 through our generous sponsors CET Academics and Rae and Karl Haigler, authors of the book Gap Year, American Style. Check out details for instructions on how to enter below. Follow along on Instagram @gapyearassociation to check out all the entries!

High School Counselors, Educators, and Parents:

This is a natural opportunity to share information with your students and their families. Early research is showing that nearly half of students who are presented with the gap year option opt to take it...meaning the value and importance are demonstrated for youth. They have more to contend with in global affairs, climate change, mental health, and future globalization than almost any generation before - being informed about next steps matters!

As you navigate high school graduation with students, it is a great time to #explorethegapyear. Throughout the month of February we are providing you with all the resources and toolkits with examples of how to bring gap year education to life at your school and for your student(s).

We hope you will join us and #explorethegapyear this February!