More incoming freshmen expected to request a gap year, but getting approved might not be easy

Suzanne Monaghan
May 22, 2020 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  More incoming college freshmen are expected to request a year off because of COVID-19. But getting that request granted might not be easy.

Most schools will limit the number of students they approve for a gap year.

“Or else, they’re going to be scrambling and trying to accept students off the waitlist, or in a worst case scenario, and some colleges have already done this, open up applications or the admissions process and allow students to apply at this late date,” said founder of Application Nation Sara Harberson.

She says students have to show they’re doing something productive during that time.

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”Traditionally, it ends up being a full year of doing something. And that doing something could be working, volunteering, traveling, a hybrid,” she explained. 

All of which is difficult or impossible because of the pandemic.

Colleges also can’t take too many gap year requests because they would have to reduce the number of freshman accepted the following year. 

“That is a big concern for the class of 2021. They’re worried that if colleges grant all these gap year requests, that there won’t be as much room for those rising seniors who are going to be applying this coming year,” Harberson said. 

Some colleges have already announced students can’t request a gap year simply because they don’t want to do remote learning.