Upcoming college freshmen taking GAP year due to COVID

This is not a COVID thread; it is meant to discuss what happens when the rising college freshmen decide to take a GAP year to avoid paying tuition for online classes. When the current high school seniors apply to schools, will there be enough spots for them?

I don’t follow any of the college admission threads, so this may be addressed there. My cousin’s son is a high school senior and the family knows many kids that have decided to take a GAP year as college freshmen. The parents don’t want to pay private school tuition for online classes, so are sending their kids to Israel or Europe to pass the time. I do realize this may be a small group of people, so wanted to see if others are seeing the same in their areas and circles. My cousin is concerned that her son, who isn’t a top student, might have difficultly finding a school when there may be limited spots available.

I don’t think the EU countries except Ireland are welcoming Americans right now…and neither is Israel which is in a second wave.

How are these parents sending these kids to Europe or Israel?

Re:college admissions. My opinion is there will be college spots a year from now.

@thumper1 Obviously my brain is not working this weekend :open_mouth: I will blame it on lack of sleep! Of course most of these countries are not allowing people in at this time. I have no idea if these kids are just hoping to be able to go somewhere, at some point this year, or this is just a pipe dream. As I told my aunt, I can not imagine a large number of kids are doing this, but she was sure it was happening. This was my reasoning for asking here as I had not heard of a single student doing this.

If the student already has a spot, and simply deferred, then that spot will still be there.

If the student didn’t like any of the places where they were admitted this year, and didn’t accept an admissions offer, then yes that student will be competing with a whole new crop of applicants. Whether that is a big deal or not remains to be seen. There could well be a whole other group of students who decide to take gap years for 2021-2022, and the competition for spaces might be no worse than it was this year.

But truly, those parents need to wake up and smell the coffee. Online education is here to stay. Even when it is considered safe to go back in the classroom, what the colleges and universities and their staff and students have learned about distance ed. won’t go away. We all can expect a continuing expansion of online options - even at the expensive private places.

A few thoughts.

A couple of rising Duke freshman that D20 befriended this summer are taking a gap year and going to Europe. These are kids from wealthy families and they have dual citizenship I believe. Specifically, two that she knows will get an apartment in Paris (eye roll) and one will study music and the other is writing a screen play to pass the time.

Regarding next year. I think it really depends on how many students are allowed a gap year and what that number looks like. For example, Duke did not put any gap year restrictions on this years freshman class and these 1st years still have until August 16th (the day before classes start) to make a decision. Based on the class FB page, less than 5% of the class will elect a gap year. That’s about 90 students of 1,800. I don’t see this adversely affecting the class of 2025 next year as I would think they can absorb 90 additional students?

Now if half the class decided to take a gap year, then yes I don’t know how they could accommodate an extra 900 freshman students next year and still accept the usual class of 1,800 for a total freshman class of 2,700 students!

By the way, I think early this summer Duke had freshman take a survey and might have asked them (among other questions) how many are considering a gap year so the college probably had a pretty good feel for how many were considering a gap year this fall.

The other wild card is that undergrad housing in general might be effected by students not taking semesters abroad like they would in normal years. For example, since Duke basketball is huge and a winter/spring sport (e.g. March Madness) many students who want to study abroad will do it in the fall so as not to miss the basketball season. When we toured Tulane, they also said that because of Mardi Gras (in February) that most students also study abroad in the fall which allows more housing 1st semester.

How this all plays out during this pandemic, is anyone’s guess but if students are not studying aboard, I would think housing would be effected.

I got all excited about Ireland accepting US travelers…till I read there is a 14 day quarantine. So maybe not.

@busdriver11 well…if these college gap year kids were planning to spend a term or year in Ireland, a 14 day quarantine wouldn’t be a big deal.

I have contact with someone who has a property management business and they have had groups of freshman age kids looking to rent apartments and houses. Some are taking a gap year, others are planning on community college in both areas which are beach cities. One group was several friends who go to different universities but do to online for the fall wanted to move out of their parents homes and live with friends.