Gap year?

I will be moving to the U.S in three months and I won’t be able to attend college until I get my residency, which I will hopefully obtain in December. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any APs during my high school years because they are awfully expensive here (about US 500.) Leaving that aside, I do have a strong high school record.

My question is, if I take some AP classes and retake the SATs (along with the Subject Tests required by some admissions department,) could I apply as a freshman for Fall of 2016? Or are the APs not that significant? If so, what are some other aspects that I should focus on instead?

In other words, is it a good idea to take a gap year and strengthen my application?

I’m considering Vassar as a number one choice, so I’m trying to prepare my application according to their standards.


You can apply as a freshman for Fall 2016 whether or not you take APs/SATs, as long as you haven’t enrolled in or taken more than a specified number of credits from, a college or university.

APs are not a magic bullet: from an admissions point of view they are just a proxy for taking challenging/rigorous classes. Lots of people don’t have many/any AP options, which is why even super-competitive schools don’t included them in the application requirements. If your school record shows that you took a rigorous curriculum that’s all that is required.

Imo, if you are going to take a gap year, use it for something great: something that is close to your heart / who you see yourself being / where you think you might be heading / will help you get there. Think of it: your family’s move gives you the gift of time at an age and stage when a lot of things are open to you (esp if you have already turned 18).