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GAP YEAR FAQ

Click on a specific category in the GAP Year FAQ to review questions.

CONSIDERING A GAP YEAR


What is a gap year?

A gap year is a period of time for post graduate students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, study, intern, work, perform research or any combination of these activities.  A gap year can also be called an interim year, deferring college, or taking time out. Students who take a gap are also known as “gappers.”

When is the best time to take a gap year?

Most students take a gap year between the end of high school and the beginning of college or career. If not taking a whole year, some students take time over summer vacation or even a semester off. Others go after college, but before entering graduate school or starting a career.

Does a gap year have to last a whole year?

Not necessarily! While some programs last a full year, others are shorter in duration. The GAP Year at SOAR lasts about 8 months, which we believe gives participants an appropriate length of time to focus on personal growth and development. If you are looking for programs throughout the summer, we do offer a Postgraduate Adventure program as part of our Summer Camp programs in North Carolina.

What are the benefits of taking a gap year?

A gap year can help you:

  • Clarify your career interests and goals
  • Develop your organizational and life skills
  • Renew your passion for college coursework and learning
  • Gain a sense of maturity and self-confidence
  • Discover your interests and passions, prior to committing to college
  • Broaden your perspective of other cultures, views and global awareness
  • Improve job prospects with employers seeking grads with practical experience

GAP YEAR & COLLEGE


What do US colleges say about taking a gap year?

Leading US colleges and universities, and notably Harvard University, are openly supporting a gap year for admitted freshman, recognizing that by taking a productive year out, students enter college with more maturity and self-confidence and better wisdom and experience to handle the upcoming challenges. Many universities now allow accepted students to defer entrance one year.

How do I defer my college entrance so I can take a gap year?

Make a formal request in writing after you have accepted admission. Ensure your request demonstrates a well-structured plan with an outline of the goals and benefits you hope to gain during your gap year. Discuss why you want to defer admission, what you hope to do during the semester or year off, and why you want to hold your place at the college. These requests are often granted, and students go on to do many exciting things.

I want to take a gap year before college. Should I even apply for college first?

Even if you know ahead of time that you may want to take a gap year, you should go through the college application process during your senior year, and choose a college. You may then be able to defer admission one year. It’s best to contact the colleges’ admissions office directly to ask them if it is included in any of their written admissions policies.

I am concerned that if I take a gap year I will be older than other students when I start college.

Nowadays most students matriculate at different ages and you’ll also find that many other students will have taken a year out like yourself.

IS A GAP YEAR RIGHT FOR ME?


How do I know if a gap year is right for me?

Read the following scenarios and see if any apply to you. If so you may be ready to truly benefit from a gap year experience.

  • Not ready for college. Perhaps you lack self-confidence or have not clearly defined your interests /career options.
  • You have had your fill  of academics even before entering college, and want to take a breather so you can arrive on campus refreshed and ready to give your best.
  • You know why you are going to college, but want a competitive edge over other students. You want real life experience that builds your resume, and makes you more attractive to future employers.
  • Haven’t been able to choose a major and don’t really know what you are truly passionate about.
  • Haven’t been accepted to the college of your choice and want to use your gap experience to improve your application and make you more appealing to the school.

What are some of the characteristics of the students who choose to take a gap year?

Students who take a gap year tend to be self- motivated, not afraid of taking a risk, not bound by conventions and open to explore their interests and discover their passions.

FINANCIAL


How much does your program cost?

The GAP Year at SOAR costs $49,500, which includes room & board, expedition costs, overhead, and community college costs. We recognize this is a large financial commitment, one that has the potential to greatly influence your young adult’s path in life. If you need assistance, we have Private Loans available. Learn more.

In addition to program cost, participants will also be asked to come with a debit account with funds to be used for personal spending items. We will use this account to teach fiscal accountability and budgeting.

What if my young adult leaves early? Will I get a refund?

If your young adult is removed from the program, no refund will be provided. This includes behavioral issues or non-compliance.  Please review our Financial Policy in detail prior to enrolling.

About the GAP Year at SOAR


Where does SOAR's Gap Year take place?

The Gap Year at SOAR’s residential portion takes place at SOAR’s Eagle View Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Gappers will also travel throughout the western United States and internationally!

Is academic credit available?

Gappers will have the opportunity to volunteer at a location of their choice and enroll in courses through Central Wyoming College totaling 4 credit hours.  The courses through Central Wyoming College will include a Workforce Readiness class, Orientation to College, and Personal Financing. In addition to learning valuable skills, these courses also help gappers decide if college is right for them after their gap year.

Is it co-ed?

The Gap Year at SOAR is co-ed. Participants will all live together on base and share common areas. This setting allows them to experience real-life responsibilities in a real-life setting—interacting with peers, cooking meals, doing laundry, organizing their space, and planning for their next trip.

How do I apply?

Please complete the application here. If you would like to learn more about the Admissions Process, please visit our Admissions page at soarnc.org/gap-year/admissions/ or call our Admissions Office at 828-456-3435.