How to Apply to College After a Gap Year: 8 Helpful Tips

Research shows the value of a gap year for students. Studies reveal that students taking a brief deferral are more likely to graduate on time. They also have higher GPAs than students that do not take a gap year.

Still, it can be unsettling for many students considering a one-year deferral for attending college.  You may worry about how admissions will see your time spent away from school. However, this is not the case if you know the ins and outs.

Here, we will discuss how to apply to college after a gap year. If you follow these tips, you will experience the benefits of college in the future. Keep reading for the scoop!

1. Apply Like There Is No Gap

Even when you know you will need a gap year, you should continue through the application process. Going to college will require acceptance, and even though you apply now, you could defer a year. This will free you from the stress of scrambling with the application process later.

Especially if it is your last year of high school, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the resources you have. It is easier to talk to guidance counselors, ask for letters of recommendation, and get transcripts. You will also have the opportunity to study for the entrance exams.

2. Plan Ahead

Life brings unexcepted events. However, if you know now that you will need a gap year or are considering taking one before attending college, make it a part of your application process.

Scholarships could be deferred, although you may have to re-apply.

It is a good idea to call the admissions office and ask directly about gap years to ensure college success. Usually, you can defer the first year. They may have you enter once the gap year ends.

3. When You Can’t Plan Ahead

Colleges understand you are human. They know things happen. The best way to handle a gap year is to make the best of your situation and be honest with college admissions.

Notably, students taking a gap year rose during the COVID pandemic to approximately 130,000 students for the 2020 to 2021 school year. COVID-19 was not a situation that students planned for.

Maybe the reason you need a year off is financial. You need to save. We highly recommend this link when paying for college with student loans.

4. Have a Reason

There are many reasons to take a gap year, from saving money to pay expenses, caring for a sick loved one, etc. Some people take a gap year because of an internship that will offer career experience, while others have an opportunity to travel the world.

A gap year could be an excellent time to consider your life’s direction or explore options to help you decide what major to pursue. A gap year can rejuvenate your spirit, but you still want to think carefully about why you need it. It is essential not to miss out on the benefits of college.

5. Maintain Your Openness

Transitioning from a gap to a college year does not need to be harsh or a significant division in your timeline. Your mindset contributes substantially to making the most of your gap year.

You want to think ahead and what to expect in the classroom. Keep your passion for education and discover at the forefront of your gap year.

6. Enhance Your Test Scores

If you do not get into your first college choice but another trade school will accept you, do not fret. You can defer entrance to the trade school. You could retake the ACT or SAT to work toward a better score during this time.

Another option is to write a fantastic essay or gain real-world work experience in your desired field. This is a time to add value to your application, turn a rejection around, and get accepted. Keep track of the new skills you learn, volunteer work, certifications you earn, etc., to help build your resume.

7. Stay Motivated

This is not a time to worry and feel bad about the situation. Attending college is still in your future, even if it is not immediate. Make the most of this time, and consider activities that will motivate you.

Avoid typical summertime break activities like playing video games, sleeping late, etc. This can be the start of a “failure to launch.” Instead, this is a time to be proactive and build yourself up for college success.

8. Stay Positive

It can seem intimidating, but a gap year can be highly beneficial if you prepare for the future. Keep your goal in sight. Consider this statistical advantage that 66% of students that take a gap year will take their studies more seriously.

There is always a path toward college success. You must be willing to take the right steps forward and be smart about gathering the proper documentation.

Remember that the application process is a perfect time to sell yourself. Think about how to show your best self, and never give up.

How to Apply to College After a Gap Year

The people working today in college admissions will not be surprised by a student taking a one-year deferral. How to apply to college after a gap year is what will make or break your acceptance, so plan carefully. Be honest with those you use, make sure you prepare a brilliant essay, and take the time to build your resume.

These are all essential tips to help you move forward. For more superb advice on life’s bumps in the road, don’t leave. Keep clicking on more of our timely articles on how to make the best out of every situation!