A gap year, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a year that a student spends in between high school and college should he or she not want to go directly to college after high school. We’ve written quite a bit about gap years in the past and we’ve stressed how if a student opts to take a gap year, that year should be productive. It should not include sitting on the couch, watching “Star-Crossed” and “Hart of Dixie” in between doing your nails. A gap year should be spent having a unique life experience that you’ll never be able to have again because you’re only 18 or 19 years-old once in your life. If you want to take a gap year to pursue your passion of sculpture by studying in Italy, that’s pretty cool. If you want to take a gap year to improve your swim times by training one-on-one with your club coach so that you can be a big contributor at Stanford the following year, that makes sense to us. Watching “Hart of Dixie” makes no sense to us.
Anyhow, Tufts University announced that they are offering aid to students who wish to take gap years. According to “The Associated Press,” “A new program at Tufts University and existing ones at a handful of other schools aim to remove the financial barriers that can keep cash-strapped students from exploring different communities and challenge their comfort zones before jumping right into college. The gap year program starting this fall at Tufts will pay for housing, airfare and even visa fees, which can often add up to $30,000 or more.” $30,000 or more for a gap year is quite a nice amount of money. Way to go Tufts for making this bold announcement.
But Tufts is not alone in paying students to take gap years. UNC offers $7,500 to certain students wishing to take gap years. And Princeton offers money to students seeking to take a gap year based on financial need. Does it seem silly to you that these schools would pay students to take gap years? Do you think this move will have an impact on Tufts’ yield — as in, will more students matriculate to Tufts because of this program? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.