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Gap Year

mtfamilymtfamily 73 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited July 2009 in Musical Theater Major
Another "What If?"....

What if either:

I) Student does not get accepted to any of their schools-


II) -Student cannot go to school at this time due to financial difficulties...

...Making it necessary to do a gap year and reaudition next year. How does the application PROCESS work as far as high school transcripts and recommendations. Taking classes at a local college is not an option. (Remember the financial difficulties? Paying for a 5th year of school on any level is out of the question!) The student is not considered a transfer applicant but a freshman, just like all the kids out of high school. Do you go back to the high school and mimic the process of a high school senior? SAT/ACT? Transcripts and teacher recommendations?

And yes, following the advice of all the incredible people here she made a well-thought out list of schools to audtion at. If she was not 100% sure that she would attend the school and be happy there it couldn't be on the list. (Application costs, audition costs, the cost of leaving the school after a year and transfering.) Happily she had a large and realistic list, HOWEVER, as a female and soprano the stats are stacked against her.

Hopefully the economy will get better and hopefully all the kids will get into schools, but sometimes we have to wait to get what we want. It is best to be mentally prepared for all options.

Thanks in advance for all help with this difficult situation.
edited July 2009
15 replies
Post edited by mtfamily on
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Replies to: Gap Year

  • soozievtsoozievt 31396 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    I'm not sure what you mean about going back to the high school to mimic the process as a senior. Your D already has her SAT/ACT scores. Check. She has her recs. Check. (possibly may get some new artistic recs if something she has done has been significant during the gap year). She already has the transcript. She should use her gap year in worthwhile ways (in this case, including some further training) and be able to articulate on her application why she took a gap year and how she has spent it.

    I understand the cost issue for the gap year.

    But as far as admissions itself goes, she should have safety/likely schools on her list and should not be shut out of attending college next year. Does she have any non-audition schools on her list where her academic profile would also make her a likely admit? A college list should include such schools and nobody should be shut out of attending college due to no acceptances.

    That said, a gap year can be a wonderful thing.
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  • mtfamilymtfamily 73 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    By mimic I just ment, the usual bugging of the school guidance secretary to submit transcrips and resubmit when the college did not get them, ask teachers for new recs, etc. Since H.S. transcrips are stable (no mid-yr/end of year submission! in this situation!) I guess my question was more geared towards teacher recs and SAT/ACT. Did not know if these tests would need to be retaken since scores would be over a year old. Same for teacher recs, since that child has already graduated out of the school would it look "odd"? She has plenty of artistic/professional references.

    She has college acceptances in her pocket but is looking at the option of a gap-year in order to earn money and would continue her training locally. Not a happy situation, but it might be a necessary one.

    I guess the "What-if? question posed by Clay made me think that there might be other students with various "what-if" situations. There has been a lot of discussion about being a transfer, however it is the process of how to handle a gap year that I could not find info on. With the economy the way it is I am sure that there will be students that will be in similar, if not the same, situation that we are. Let's hope that in a couple of years someone reads this thread and thinks, "wow, do you remeber when the economy was so bad...." and it is all history!
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  • anne1244anne1244 257 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I don't know about BFA programs but many colleges will permit a one year deferral for a student who is accepted but cannot or does not want to attend for that particular year.
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31396 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    OK, glad she has some college acceptances, which was the first scenario you presented. The economic one is different and may necessitate a gap year.

    She doesn't have to retake the SATs. She could if she wanted to see if she could increase her score. But it doesn't matter how old the test scores are. For example, a senior in HS could have taken the SATs in tenth grade and submitted those. As far as the academic recs, she would use those again as those were her most recent academic teachers. No need for new recs as she will not have any new academic stuff to report. She could even use the same artistic recs again but just saying that those could be updated if she has done some significant things in the arts during her gap year. Having her HS send transcripts, etc. is not a big deal. She could ask her guidance counselor to add something to his/her report about her gap year.
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31396 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    Thank you, Anne, for bring up a one year deferral. I did not think to mention that as the OP talked about not getting into any schools. But you are right....many colleges allow you to defer entrance for a year after being admitted. I don't know if all BFA programs do that but some likely do and it is also worth looking into.
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  • cdovercdover 464 replies19 threadsRegistered User Member

    I'm in my gap year now - I got rejected from all my colleges first time round.

    Anyway, when it was time to apply again in September/Oct, I had to go back to school and get all my full high school transcripts, and I got new recs again from my teachers (only because they knew me better by then, than when they had written recs last year).

    Your D might consider retaking the SATs, to see if she can get a higher school, especially if she now has the spare time to study more. That way, she might receive better merit aid.
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  • mtfamilymtfamily 73 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    cdover, thank you for the idea of retaking SAT/ACTs for merit aid!!! It is difficult to not get in the first time around, I wish you well with this year's auditions.

    I am glad that Anne mentioned deferral which is and option I have considered.
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  • HoosierMom2012HoosierMom2012 235 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If finances were really bad wouldn't the EFC be at or close to $0 and either grants or loans be offered where no payments need to be made till after graduation?
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  • kjgckjgc 427 replies1 threadsCollege Rep Member
    In England the "gap year" is considered normal and positive. Given my experience as a college educator and administrator, students who come with one or two years outside of high school tend to be more focused and accepting of training.

    I would caution against only one thing (and this may not be much of a problem anymore). Credit was easy to come by and the temptation was to purchase a car or run up bills on credit cards. There is little (or NO) time to have a job and be an active participant in a BFA program (or for that matter a good BA program.) Students who did have bills outside of tuition, room and board tended to end up leaving the programs I have been associated with.

    One year off isn't that big of an issue. Keep up the dance classes if possible. Take some voice with a reputable teacher if possible and go out and audition anywhere and everywhere.
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  • JimTJimT 8 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for asking the question. Topic has certainly come up in our household. Probably wait until April to have the full discussion. Appreciate the comments/thoughts/ideas - they are/will be helpful to us - especially information on how schools might look at this decision and ideas for type of work to do during the GAP year.
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  • SeniorMom08SeniorMom08 90 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If finances are the main concern, I'd like to make one more suggestion, and that is talking with the FA office and head of the department (in person if possible). Doing so helped my son to be considered for additional scholarships (both merit and talent based) at the school he now attends. Had that not been the case he would studying elsewhere.
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  • MusThCCMusThCC 573 replies13 threadsRegistered User Member
    One financial point to consider with a gap year - health insurance. If your child does not enroll in a college, many group insurances will drop the child after HS graduation. If they go back to school a year after, they may or may not be able to be re-added to the group policy. It is definitely worth checking out your situation - taking cheap community college courses may cost less than providing insurance!
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  • Bird7887Bird7887 198 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I was in college for 2 years basically taking gen-ed courses and in a small BA program. My first year did not take too many credits so I am technically behind creditwise, but chose to transfer schools and if need be start over as a freshman in a program but come in with my gen ed credits. I am currently in my 'gap year' and many schools asked me many questions about what i was doing in this time and they definitely want to hear that you kept busy and worked (or did something productive outside or the arts, unless working in a show) and worked on your acting, voice, dance, etc. I know that in Florida certain residents can get free tuition to community colleges in the state if they meet certain grade requirements. I would say check with the state that you live in and see what they do. Take some of the general courses that you will need at 'most' colleges and get them over with! It will be such a relief to not have to take those while at your chosen college/university AND you will be saving a ton of money by not having to pay university prices for those courses and like MusThCC said you can keep your child on your insurance. Also, if your child is very good in certain subjects I recommend taking a CLEP test which are done and community colleges normally and they are like $90 a test but if you get a 50 or higher (the scoring is weird) you pass and get a minimum of 3 credit hours and then you dont have to take it when you get to your college. I passed a humanities CLEP test and it gave me 6 credit hours of credit! But check with each school to see what scores they take and which exams they will accept from you for credit because it varies.
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  • 6244262442 89 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    So is a student who's taken a gap year given the same consideration as one who has not? As in, would they receive the same financial aid and such as a student who is entering college right after senior year, or would they be disadvantaged somehow?

    Also, if a few courses were taken at a community college would the student then be considered a transfer?
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  • kjgckjgc 427 replies1 threadsCollege Rep Member
    To the first question, if you take a year away you are considered no differently for admissions. However, you do risk some financial aid differences depending on your income, etc. That is far too complicated and well outside of my end of the bargain to go into.

    If you take classes at any accredited institution, and you want to apply those credits to your degree, you are considered a transfer. There are many universities that this then changes the criteria for admission and amount of financial aid. It varies widely from institution to institution. For instance at my institution transfer students are not eligible for certain scholarships.
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