right arrow
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: AMALehigh is a rising sophomore at Lehigh University, majoring in Finance. He answers questions about academics, networking, finance, Greek life, or Lehigh in general. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our July Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

First year students Deciding to Defer... or not

Penn92Penn92 10 replies4 threads New Member
How are families advising their students about the option of deferring for a year due to the pandemic?
ie: Are you encouraging your student to do a gap year?
Make the best of an atypical first year?
Waiting for more info from a specific college about their response plans?
Would love to hear from other families about how they are managing this tough/ unexpected decision with imperfect info...
16 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: First year students Deciding to Defer... or not

  • happymomof1happymomof1 30743 replies197 threads Senior Member
    There are several threads on this topic in the Parents Forum, so take a look there. A lot of students and families are thinking about this!
    · Reply · Share
  • murray93murray93 257 replies25 threads Junior Member
    I’m letting my child make the decision. She is eager to start her first year in college after she’s been through, so will go if allowed.
    · Reply · Share
  • xmasberryxmasberry 35 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I’m a rising senior, but my mom and I have already talked about what would happen if the pandemic is to continue for my freshman year of college. She’s really pushing me to continue on with my learning and not take the gap year. I agree, bc even though it may be harder, at least I’ll still be learning and won’t have to struggle with getting back in the routine of classes.
    · Reply · Share
  • GoldPennGoldPenn 164 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I keep hearing about this in a way that suggests a request for a gap year is usually granted. An admissions rep from the University of Chicago told us they are not going to approve any more gap years than they have previously despite a big increase in requests. To do so would negatively impact the rising high school seniors. Has anyone else heard of similar policies at other colleges?
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10131 replies118 threads Senior Member
    @GoldPenn - you are correct that many schools are now saying that if students take a gap year, they won’t guarantee them a spot next year and they may have to reapply.
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11731 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited June 22
    Faculty are spending time this summer improving online classes beyond the remote versions of lectures offered on an emergency basis. Online classes have the potential to be excellent ways to deliver education for many subjects.

    Along with challenges for science labs and performing arts, I think the biggest issues are social life and extracurriculars. Some colleges are coming up with creative ways to address these.

    Typical gap years don't offer much right now.

    This is so complicated: thinking about the effect on rising high school seniors as well as the financial survival of some colleges.
    edited June 22
    · Reply · Share
  • OhdeanorOhdeanor 61 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Every university has a different policy on freshman deferrals and gap years right now. My freshman requested a deferral of her enrollment after the deadline and it was granted after submitting a written outline of how she planned to spend the year. They were enthusiastic in accepting and the next email was welcoming her to the class of 2025. I think it really just depends on the school's deferral/gap year policy and how much they need to de-densify the campus.
    · Reply · Share
  • milgymfammilgymfam 1544 replies28 threads Senior Member
    edited June 22
    @compmom, my D is taking a gap year (approved pre-Covid) and she plans to dance and work. She’ll also take two courses (3 is the limit for her college to retain her scholarship upon matriculation) at a very affordable community college next year just to keep her toe in school work. Those courses were always intended to be online. We hope she’ll dance in a studio during the year, but zoom ballet has been workable and she would continue that way during any shutdowns. She is already accepted into her college of choice, so she can relax and enjoy her training next year, and earn some spending money for when she starts at her college in fall of 2021 (she has an academic scholarship, so it won’t be affected by her earnings).
    edited June 22
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5344 replies89 threads Senior Member
    edited June 22
    compmom wrote: »
    I am curious what young people are going to do instead, since everything else is also restricted. At least staying in college online means some stimulation, interaction and progress toward a degree. If there are worthwhile alternatives, I would love to know what they are.

    I know some Outward Bound programs are a go, including ones in Costa Rica, which is supposedly going to open its borders soon.

    My D19 would have the option to also continue with her internship for the year too.
    edited June 22
    · Reply · Share
  • OhdeanorOhdeanor 61 replies1 threads Junior Member
    The kids we know are working...doing internships...volunteering with non-profits....and many, many are working on political campaigns, voter registration initatives, etc. Many are hoping to travel in Spring 2021 in areas where it seems more likely.
    · Reply · Share
  • Penn92Penn92 10 replies4 threads New Member
    My daughter's high school (independent boarding & day school) offers a pretty robust Post-Grad year (advanced coursework, internships, TA opportunities, etc.) She wouldn't have considered this option in a 'typical' year, but now it feels like an attractive option to her...
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11731 replies81 threads Senior Member
    But don't the same restrictions from COVID that motivate gap years, also apply to these activities?

    Outward Bound type programs like NOLS might make sense if all the participants were tested first.

    @milgymfam one of mine did a gap year for dance, ten years ago. I cannot imagine doing class via Zoom (though I have been doing Tai Chi that way lately; dance takes a lot more space!). But she was also in a company, and dance companies aren't functioning much these days.

    I guess you are all more optimistic about work and internships. To me, if those things were possible safely, so would college. I am trying to understand!

    Are your kids going to work or intern online?

    I wonder what is going to happen for this coming year's applicants, and also about the survival of some schools with so many deferring.

    Schools really have to avoid liability if students get sick. Giving families the choice of online, in-person or hybrid seems reasonable. But if many defer/gap, I think some schools will have to require reapplying for survival. And those on waitlists are in luck.

    · Reply · Share
  • OhdeanorOhdeanor 61 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @compmom --I should clarify my D is not taking a gap year to avoid getting COVID-19. I think the risk is the same whether she goes to college in a communal living situation or takes a gap year to work/intern. She's taking a gap year to pursue some opportunities and hopes (fingers crossed) that Fall 2021 will be somewhat closer to the college experience she seeks. The idea of sitting in a single dorm room with a laptop, zooming all her classes, eating all her meals to go, with no extracurriculars and no "student life" is depressing (to her). Her internship is in person...just like her current summer job and she will practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands, practice increased sanitation just like she does now. Travel for Spring 2021 will depend on a lot of factors but one trip she has already scheduled for December just requires a negative test result within 10 days of travel.
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11731 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the clarification. You covered exactly the reason for my inability to understand why anyone would defer. I have kids with health challenges and they would be more limited not doing college (even if at home). Until the virus is gone, that is.

    So the idea behind taking a gap year is that some measure of normalcy can be achieved. I am just not so sure about that, even for healthy kids.

    There is also the impact on the next class of seniors, and the impact on school finances. If a school is going hybrid, would you consider that?

    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity