Gap Year, American Style highlights the findings of authors Karl Haigler & Rae Nelson, who surveyed 300 gap year alumni. Most of the 300 students surveyed are Interim students; 40 of the 55 gap year alumni featured in the book are Interim students.
- Gap year students overwhelmingly report being satisfied with their jobs which related to their less selfish approach to working with people and careers.
- Highest three rated outcomes of gap years:
- Gaining a better sense of who I am and what is important to me
- A better understanding of other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living
- Additional skills and knowledge that contributed to my career or academic major
- Burnout from the competitive pressure of high school
- A desire to find out more about myself
Bob Clagett, with nearly 30 years of admissions experience at Harvard College and Middlebury College, designed methodology to track gap year students’ over/under-performance of GPA.
- His research on Middlebury College and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill gap year students reveals consistently higher GPAs than non-gap year peers through all four years of college.
Mark Hatch, Vice President of Enrollment at Colorado College, shares research on their gap year students. The results have led to a stated interest in having 20% of the incoming freshman class have taken a gap year:
- they have higher GPAs than their non-gap year peers
- gap year males outperform non-gap year females (significant given how females generally outperform males in college)
- they take less time to graduate
- they have fewer behavioral issues & tend to be leaders on campus
USA Gap Year Fairs have been taking place nationwide since 2007. There were 35 fairs in 20 states across the United States in 2015, attended by nearly 4,000 potential gappers and their families. Interim counselors have been the keynote speaker at these events since 2007.
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) have been increasingly seeking out gap year experts to attend their conferences to further educate college counselors on the benefits of the gap year. Interim counselors have spoken on most of these panels.
Princeton University created the Bridge Year program for a percentage of their incoming freshmen class each year; they fund most of this 9 months of international service work and cultural immersion. Princeton University asked Interim to consult with them in their creation of the Bridge Year Program, and we recommended a number of programs for their eventual field partnerships.
Tufts University created a gap year program called the 1+4 program. Tufts University met with Holly and Neil from Interim in the early 90s when Tufts was considering the option of offering a deferred year of service work to their students. This was long before the 1+4 Tufts program eventually emerged.
Harvard University brings up the gap year option to all accepted incoming freshmen in their admittance letter.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has a 1.5 million dollar anonymous donation earmarked to fund UNC students taking a gap year; each student receives $7,500 to put toward their year.
American University has created a gap year program.