Closing the Gap Year
Your college journey is an exciting time, yet there are many details to factor in: What should I study? How much time will it take? How can I afford it? When faced with all these questions, you may think that it is a good idea to take some time off from school until you've figured it out. Some students take what is known as a "gap year" -- a yearlong break in between your studies. What you may not know, however, is that taking a gap year can have a lasting negative impact on your future with various associated risks.
Risks of a Gap Year
After graduating from high school or a two-year institution, you are met with a new world of opportunities. Becoming overwhelmed by the options is understandable; however, stopping your education to explore every option can lead you to becoming even more confused and unfocused.
Because support services are less accessible outside of college, you are more easily susceptible to losing sight of long-term goals. According to a study titled "Waiting to Attend College: Undergraduates Who Delay Their Postsecondary Enrollment" from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), "That as the length of delay increased, students were more likely to enroll in programs leading to vocational certificates." By postponing your studies, you risk not achieving your full potential with your education.
Although the name "gap year" implies that you, as a student, would take a singular year away from school, a gap year can last anywhere from one year to 70 years or more! Postponing your studies can stunt your momentum, which makes it significantly harder to begin working toward your educational goals.
The NCES reported, "Those who do delay [college] are at considerable risk of not completing a postsecondary credential when compared with their peers who enroll immediately after high school graduation."
What You Can Do to Avoid a Gap Year
Meet with an Academic Advisor
If you are uncertain about which program to pursue for your desired career interest, consult with an academic advisor at Saint Xavier University. Our advisors can talk you through all your options and help you determine which option is the best for you. With the aid of your staff advisor or faculty advisor, you gain access to information and helpful resources that get you closer to uncovering your passion and potential.
Meet with a Financial Aid Counselor
Saint Xavier University offers many options to assist you in paying for your education - financial aid, scholarships, loans, work-study opportunities and payment plans. Saint Xavier's financial aid counselors can guide you through the process to help you afford your education.
Explore Program Options
Saint Xavier University provides resources for all those nerve-racking questions that will help you identify your goals. Begin by enrolling in a couple of courses that sound appealing to you and a couple of courses that you may not have considered before. For example, if you have never considered Film and Media Studies, consider enrolling in the course Film as Text. You may find that you enjoy detailed analysis, film production or screenwriting. Also, if the class does not resonate with you, the course credits will contribute to your elective requirements, bringing you closer to graduating with a bachelor's degree.
You can also pursue SXU's Liberal Studies bachelor's program, which incorporates courses from a variety of areas, allowing you the opportunity to experience a well-rounded education toward your bachelor's degree.