COVID-19 Gap year?

Hey all,
I’m currently looking to go to UMich next year as an OOS, but I don’t think the tuition is worth it if I’m taking my classes online for the first semester due to corona. Do any of you have advice on what the process is for a gap year, whether it is a good idea in this situation, or other thoughts? Thanks!

You might want to consider just starting in Winter term if that’s an option for you.

I would talk to admissions about it. I am sure you won’t be the only one. At least to discuss options.

Also look into any aid /merit that you might get and how that gets affected.

Hi, I’m seriously considering taking a gap year.

Just found out Columbia, Rice and Yale are housing COVID patient overflow and medical personnel (who work at nearby hospitals) and relocating students living there. Is this just the beginning? I’m so uncertain and trying not to think of the worst. But I’m NOT okay with the worst case scenario.

Here’s the article that was shared on CC.

It is extremely unlikely that in-person instruction will not continue as usual next semester. I know that many parents on College Confidential have been hyping up fear and anxiety (as many CC parents usually do), but the fact is the outbreak is expected to peak in the next two weeks (by the end of the month at latest), and is expected to level out by July (potentially as early as the beginning of June). Seeing as most colleges begin classes at the end of August or the beginning of September, this is more than plenty of time until the next semester begins for the whole COVID-19 thing to cool down.

I think considering a gap year is a good idea if you can do something productive with that time which may take a little more creativity in the current environment. I’m a huge fan of gap years in general.

I also think schools could push their start end dates back a bit if needed. Starting in October isn’t the worse thing that can happen. Maybe shorten spring break if needed kinda thing for one year.

It’s gonna be interesting

What would you do in your gap year? As @doschicos mentioned, it may be difficult to come up with enriching, interesting alternatives.

@Knowsstuff Definitely, and if they didn’t want to push their start dates back entirely, they could do remote learning for a few weeks or a month or so then bring students back to campus.

The same way the flu comes back every year, Dr Fauci suspects a second (and maybe a third) wave of this coronavirus is extremely likely next fall. So why do you think in-person instruction will continue as usual?

There for sure won’t be a vaccine by the Fall. Even if there was, some folks are gonna refuse to get vaccinated. smh

Will someone discover a medicine that works for Covid patients? or do you think students will wear masks and get their temperature taken as they walk into their dorms and classrooms? Will there be an app on our phones tracking us moving about?

Or will there be another round of school closures in the fall?

@saarinen By then, many of us will have built up immunity; you see, most people in the country are going to get it over the next six months; the goal is to spread it out so the medical system is not overwhelmed. By that point in time, we will still be getting it, but many will have already been exposed to it, so it will be not nearly as harmful. Therefore, the medical system will not be overwhelmed and there will be no need to shut the country down. It will be our new normal.

Also, Dr. Fauci has stated that schools should be in good shape to reopen in fall.

He did not say that. He is optimistic but some things have to fall in place to allow that to happen…meaning antibody tests, proper contact tracing process at local levels, decrease in cases, availability of testing and perhaps treatments, etc.

@Mwfan1921 “I fully expect… that by the time we get to the fall… it certainly will not be the way it is now where people are shutting schools.” Also, my dad who is an doctor with both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Biology says it is highly unlikely that schools will still be shut down in fall.

I doubt any college has solid plans in place yet. It’s too soon to know.

My understanding is that he is talking about “schools” K-12, but not residential colleges which is a different type of schooling. Highly doubt college students will be on-campus in the fall especially ones that are in large cities and have lots of kids from all over the US and world…too much of a risk and liability for colleges to be open for in-person instruction…hope I’m wrong…

During this pandemic, I don’t think taking a gap year is about getting an enriched experience. It’s about staying safe, not having to spend a ton of money on tuition for online instruction, and working (even if part-time), volunteering and saving money for the following year. This likely will not be the typical gap year experience and that’s ok if it means getting the full 4 year college experience in 2021.

Since you are an entering student, the process is simple. You need to ask the admission’s office if you can defer your admission to the next year. They were either suspend your admission until that year or retract your current admission for you to re-apply the next year. You should also check with financial aid, but you should be fine as long as long you don’t have any competitive scholarships. You may also consider taking general education or the non-hands-on courses since they won’t change as much online, and they are required anyway.

I am actually a college sophomore soon to be junior, and my major is Equine Studies. It depends heavily on hands-on skills which can’t be developed off campus without a horse. As a result, I too am considering withdrawing until the virus no longer has my university closed. For my major, it is just not practical to learn it online, and employers would look down on my lack in experience. I too need to check with the registrar and financial aid office if this would be a possible for me or not, but I take the non-hands-on classes and the general education classes I have left if that works better.

I don’t blame you at all for feeling this way, as several other technical major students and myself have the same feelings. It is not worth paying for a half way done education. I want the full experience too.

Some of the colleges have been saying they are not going to loosen up the requirements for taking a gap year (for current students). It is notoriously difficult to get a gap year approved at the University of Maryland, and they have stated that they are not going to make it any easier due to COVID-19.

My kid’s T5 college has allowed enrolled students to decide on a gap year through June 15. I would expect more summer waitlist action than usual as kids opt to defer if classes go online. I just can’t see paying full freight for online instruction. I know Wash U has sent out emails to profs asking if their fall classes can be converted to online instruction. Colleges are starting to plan for online instruction in the fall. I hope Fall Semester goes on as planned—but I fear not.

Maryland does have just a few approved reasons to take a gap year…they actually expect their gap year requests to go down this year because typically 75% or so are for religious travel type programs…and those won’t be happening for 20/21.