About a year ago, I wrote a blog post called “Should You Take a Gap Year?” which explained what a gap year is and answered some common questions about gap years. One of these questions was, “How much does a gap year cost?” While the price can vary depending on what a student does, cost is often seen as a barrier to taking a gap year, as some programs cost as much as a year of college.
As taking a gap year has gained popularity in the U.S., an increasing number of colleges are not only encouraging students to take a gap year, some are even offering students financial aid to do so. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida State, Tufts, Duke, and Princeton have financial aid available to support students who take a gap year.
A donation from a couple whose daughter attends Duke will allow the university to offer financial aid to gap year students starting this fall. The couple has made a similar offer to the University of Pennsylvania, where their son goes to school.
Princeton provides funding to students who participate in the university’s own gap year program, the Princeton Bridge Year, which involves doing community service in foreign countries. Thanks to a recent donation from an alumni couple, Princeton will be expanding the program to include more students.
The Gap Year Association maintains a list of colleges that have official gap year deferral policies and includes information about schools that provide financial aid for gap years.