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Coronavirus Crisis is Causing Many Students to Consider Taking a Gap Year

Coronavirus Crisis is Causing Many Students to Consider Taking a Gap Year

“No dorms. No dining halls. No college classmates to bond with and learn from.”

Colleges and universities are already experiencing financial problems due to the crisis. A large drop in enrollment is only going to make it worse.

ABC 7 News reports:

Many incoming college student consider taking a gap year during COVID-19 crisis

Some rising college freshmen may be considering a gap year as the COVID-19 pandemic has left uncertainly with how the college experience will look by the fall semester.

Kyra Kushner, 17, had her future mapped out. She was the top of her high school class in San Francisco, and she was accepted early decision at Wesleyan.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“Is it worth it for me to go to college? Because you know they’re charging thousand upon thousands of dollars and I’m not getting even half the experience,” Kushner said.

Wesleyan, like many colleges, doesn’t yet know if they’ll reopen the campus next fall. It might be a year of distance learning.

Not only does Kushner get robbed of her senior spring, but she may not get the freshman fall as she had imagined.

“Yeah. It’s scary,” Kushner said. “Just trying to make the best of it?”

No dorms. No dining halls. No college classmates to bond with and learn from.

It’s just not the same in a Zoom room, where many students are spending time in video conference seminars.

“It just seems not even comparable to what a good college experience would be,” Kushner said.

With enrollment decisions due at many schools May 1, guidance counselors are seeing a surge of interest in gap years. As many as one in six graduating seniors are giving it serious thought.


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This most definitely has been an odd year to be a high school senior. My homeschooled senior so far has been minimally impacted (academically, we’re just chugging along normally), but we are starting to discuss the possibility of her first year of college being online. We considered a gap year, but, since she will be covered by a full-ride scholarship, we plan on just rolling with it. The school she will be attending is across the country, however, so I am a bit freaked out about the travel implications.

    Most kids get far from a “full-ride scholarship” and have material travel issues. Also, there will be no vaccine in place and may be no approved treatment either, although the risk to the young is small. Finally, unless you are going to a well-endowed place, the virus and economic uncertainty leaves issues about whether some of these schools will even be around in 4 years. Few families will now be able to afford to pay what they could when they filed their FAFSA forms – with employment and asset values damaged.

    Given that this issue is very current for you, I would be curious if you think a lot of families will be taking a gap year to see how things settle out and/or also giving far more consideration than usual to in-state schools, because of cost and proximity??

So many blessings coming from unexpected and unintended events. A one year “sabbatical” would help to clear out so much of the detritus and fluff masquerading as education.

Furloughed teachers should also be given an opportunity to re-apply for employment and have their qualifications evaluated.

The Friendly Grizzly | April 27, 2020 at 3:07 am

How many will discover that there may be livings to be made and lives to live without that golden piece of paper?

    You bet! I know a person who had a good STEM college degree, but lost a related job in the 2008 crash – subsequently made a career in retail and will soon be a store manager of a prominent grocery chain. No college degree was required for the current job, but the “smarts” helped a rapid advance, with excellent further prospects down the road – and likes the current job much better than the office job.

Why not encourage high school seniors to spend the next 12 months:

1. learning a foreign language via on-line daily classes, 2 or 3 or 4 hrs/day;
2. working, or preparing to get a job — waiter/waitress, ESL teacher.

Then, in a year’s time, once this Corona Virus thing is presumably safely in the past, consider the possibilities….