Higher grades, lower dropout rates among benefits of taking ‘gap’ year, says youth development group

Posted on May 30th, 2018

Higher GPAs, lower dropout rates, and quicker completion rates once students get to university are some of the benefits that advocates of gap years are advertising to youth who are thinking to the future.

Whether it’s spent volunteering, working or thinking hard about what’s next, gap years between high school and college are becoming increasingly popular.

High-level American universities like Harvard and Princeton are recommending the academic breather and going as far as offering deferrals for students because of the positive results.

On average, a student in the U.S. who enrols in university directly after high school takes 6.5 years to finish a bachelor’s degree, while those who take a year off finish the same degree in about 5.5 years, including the gap year, according to Cam Sylvester, the North American regional director of Lattitude Global Volunteering.

The non-profit organization, which has been offering volunteer opportunities since the 1970s, has found that students who choose to take a year away from schooling gain a better sense of confidence and self-awareness, and ultimately are more successful in completing their degree of choice if they do decide to return to school.

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