Gap years in the USA on the rise

12th Sep 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Gap years in the USA on the rise

More and more people from the USA are taking a gap year than ever before

Often when you’re travelling and you say you’re on a gap year, people stare blankly at you and ask “what’s that then?” The term ‘gap year’ still hasn’t really taken off in the USA; that is until recently.

According to research, approximately 1.2% of college freshmen will use the next 12 months to travel in an effort to reinvigorate and rekindle a passion for learning, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, showing that gap years in the USA are on the rise.

Ken Anselment, dean of admissions at Lawrence University, said the school readily accepts an admitted student’s decision to defer enrolment. Of the approximately 1,500 students enrolled at Lawrence each year, seven to 12 students, or fewer than 1%, take a gap year.

“Quite often they come back, and they’re even more interesting to us than they were when we offered admission to them as high school seniors,” Anselment said according to the Post Cresent.

“Students are going to have their own individual reasons and motivations for doing a gap year. The advice I give them is, let your college know what your motivations are. Tell us the story. That will help us understand just a little bit better.

“Some students think, ‘I can come in; college will still be there. I can go off and have another interesting experience and I might actually come back with my batteries charged in a different way than if I just come off this grind of my senior year,'” Anselment said. “For some students, that’s absolutely the right move.”

Do you think you’re seeing more Americans travelling on a gap year? Jump onto the message boards and let us know where you’re from and where you’re currently travelling!

If you’re about to go on a gap year but you’re unsure of where to go then head on over to our countries page for some advice and information! Also, make sure you read our article on gap year ideas…


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