Can I apply to schools during my gap year?

I am a homeschooled high school senior who was JUST exposed to the idea of taking a gap year. There are many reasons for me wanting to take a year off before college, some being that I don’t necessarily feel ready for the college experience, I long to finish my half-written novels, and I wish to earn money (and gain professional experience) during that time period in order to pay for college expenses.

Personally, I still feel like I don’t know enough about taking a gap year and I really dont want to go through this blindly. I know I’m late in the game but I plan on using this “break” to find myself and learn what I actually would be interested in doing for life (I am almost 100% sure I want to pursue a double major of English and Art History with a Spanish minor in the future).

So now that you have an idea of whats been going through my mind, I have a few questions that I have not found answers to anywhere else.
Can I apply to universities DURING my gap year? Also, what about scholarships and financial aid (FAFSA and the Coca Cola Scholarship for example)? I was also wondering if I could be spared any ideas for jobs I could apply to that have to do with what I am interested in studying?

Thank you and I sincerely hope I get replies soon!

I forgot to ask if I can still take the SAT during the gap year?

Yes. You can apply to schools during your gap year. There are several paths to college, and going later is one of them. There are schools set up to welcome what are called “nontraditional students” and programs within schools for that. It’s okay to take more than one gap year.

Check the website of any college you want to apply to for their options, but often even if they don’t mention nontraditional students, you should feel that you can apply.

In addition, here’s a short list of schools with nontraditional programs.

As with any college, be sure to watch for the costs. FA for, say, Columbia’s General Studies program (a college at CU explicitly for non-traditional students) is different and usually not as generous as for that at Columbia College, the traditional students’ program.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programs_and_colleges_for_non-traditional_students

You can take the SAT at any time it’s offered.

I would also look into Sarah Lawrence, Marlboro (has a big scholarship called Renaissance), Reed – as it’s intellectual and likes nontrads, MIT has a special notice for nontrads, and several other schools seem to welcome nontrads as additions to their campus vibe.

You can do whatever you want during your gap year. You can apply to schools as long as you haven’t made commitment to a school. If you are doing a gap year without being accepted/committed to a school then you will need to make your gap year meaningful if you are applying to top tier schools.

As far as getting a job to gain professional experience, it is not very likely unless you have family/friends who would give you a job, otherwise you would most likely have a minimum wage job or no pay internship.

You can take SAT during your gap year, but if you have taken it more than 3 times then I wouldn’t bother.

I would be careful about taking college level courses at your local CC because you do not want to have enough credits to no longer be considered as a freshman.

DUDE. gap year is encouraged by HARVARD and numerous prestigious universities - https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/preparing-college/should-i-take-time

of course you can apply anywhere, take SATs, improve ECs. taking gap year is like returning to JUNIOR Class. nothing is different, except that taking GAP YEAR HAS MORE POSITIVE EFFECTS. only downside is that you are 1 year older than others. but YOU GAIN EXPERIENCE, YOU ARE MORE MATURE AND TONS OF OTHER BENEFITS.

im doing gap year , for sure, i still can enroll to top universities but NAH, i want to try improve my ECs, SATs and eventually try to enroll in one of top 20 unis!

Some colleges allow students who have been admitted to take a gap year. Taking a gap year and applying to colleges during that may be difficult (it’s doable for sure, but difficult) because of all the papers that will need to be sent by your high school, making sure rec letters go, etc.

We’re homeschoolers in NYS. My son took a gap year and spent his time working, volunteering, pursuing activities he was interested in, and traveling with friends. Somewhere in there he made time to take the SAT.

What state are you in? Do you know how much your parents can pay for school? You can only borrow ~$5500/year and you can earn ~$3k/year if you work summers. I think anything over ~$6k is assessed at 20% for your EFC. Run the FAFSA4caster to see if you might qualify for a Pell grant.

I’d also try a sample SAT and ACT (you can find them online). If you need aid, try to get high enough scores so you qualify for merit aid. There’s a thread pinned to the top of the financial aid forum that lists schools with guaranteed merit. Check it to get an idea of what scores you need. Don’t take classes during your gap year because you may no longer be eligible for freshman grants.

I live in Tennessee and my parents tell me that worrying about whether I will be able to pay for college shouldn’t be my concern at the moment, and yet it is. I will gladly take their help but ever since they told me that, I have no idea what they are able to pay. We are about middle class and only have one income with us being a family of 7 under the same roof.

I wont rely on earning a lot of money during the gap year because my chances of landing a job that isnt minimum wage are slim. I live in a rural area anyways.

Also, I already took the SAT my junior year but did not get a score that makes me feel secure.

Thank you for your reply :slight_smile: