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Should I take a gap year?

Gap years are a chance to gain life experience before starting college.

Picture of Teddy Nykiel

Personal finance and education journalist

Long story short

Gap years have traditionally been a way for a small percentage of students to travel, volunteer, and explore career interests between high school and college (or sometimes in between college and grad school). But amid uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic, more students have indicated interest in taking a gap year. Regardless of your reason for taking one, a successful gap year requires lots of upfront reflection and planning.

  1. 1

    How do I pay for a gap year?

  2. 2

    Is taking a gap year a good idea?

  3. 3

    How do I take a gap year?

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1

How do I pay for a gap year?

Gap years can be as pricey as a year of college—particularly if you travel internationally and/or do a structured gap year program. You can pay for it through part-time work, financial aid, and realistically, some help from your parents and/or family and friends.

Questions people ask

2

Is taking a gap year a good idea?

Whether taking a gap year has been your plan all along or you’re considering it due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are many factors to consider before deciding whether taking a gap year is the right move for you.

Questions people ask

3

How do I take a gap year?

A huge part of having a successful gap year is being intentional about your gap year plans. As you’re planning your gap year, it’s important to reflect on your goals in order to make sure you’ll use the time productively.

Questions people ask

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