Pandemic Makes High School Graduates Consider Taking a Gap Year

NBC Universal, Inc.

Students are faced with uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change daily lives.

For those in the class of 2020 interested in higher education, the ongoing pandemic may have some of them exploring another option - taking a gap year.

Trung Le, founder of Bay Area College Consulting says he has seen several families weighing the pros and cons of heading back to school this fall or not.

Based on a Sallie Mae and IPSOS survey, 78% of returning students will attend the same school and 13% are unsure of their plans.

But for those entering their freshman year, the decision holds a little more weight - that's where the gap year come into play.

Le says he has seen an uptick of clients exploring the option of a gap year or delaying the start of their traditional college experience. He says in the past, a gap year has been reserved for those burnt out from rigorous high school workloads but in a pandemic, he's seen some simply wanting to explore their options.

His recommendation is to take an online college course even at a community college as it is the safest way to make use of time.

"I have clients who were admitted to the UC or Cal State so I'm advising them to do both actually to get ready to go to their 4 year college," he said. "I even encourage taking one or two classes in the regular term while they are taking classes at UC as well."

Le reminds students that some colleges are traditionally flexible in granting deferrals for a semester or entire school year.

Contact Us