Will I be instantly rejected from most schools once they see that I have taken 2 gap years?

Hey guys. I am currently on my second gap year because of financial reasons. I applied to 8 colleges during my first gap year but I got accepted to 2 and both of those colleges didn’t offer enough financial aid. It was impossible to pay. My EFC is 0.

Therefore, I have opted to take a second gap year. Will colleges understand my situation as to why I have taken 2 gap years? I’m just worried that it’ll be an instant turn off/ rejection.

Even in normal times, that wouldn’t be enough for an “instant” rejection- and these are not normal times.

I hope you will use the resources available on CC & elsewhere to help craft a better list of colleges the next time around.

And, obviously, that you are finding constructive ways to use this time.

My daughter took 2 gap years to really figure out what she wanted to do, and honestly, her resume did not look impressive for those years other than getting her health in order and working at a few minimum wage jobs that convinced her perhaps college was a good idea for her.

She took one course as a commuter at a nearby school and aced it and I think that had a lot do to with helping her get admitted.

One of my kids took several gap years and fared well entering college. Taking a community college course or two to show you are back on track to do well at college isn’t a bad idea. Before you do so (because you don’t want to be counted as a transfer student and potentially miss out on FA), make a college list and ask admissions officers whether 1) you should take a CC course and 2) how many until you’re counted as a transfer and 3) how does that affect your FA status. Each school has different criteria.

Finding an affordable school can be a challenge for low income students. If you tell us your stats and home state we may be able to make some suggestions. Are there any affordable schools within commuting distance of your home? That would make a good safety.

'Finding an affordable school can be a challenge for MOST students"

(there- I fixed it for you!)

It shouold not be a problem. Most schools are very understanding when it comes to the financial side of everything. And yes, you may find some great opportunities locally at a community college to get some classes out of the way. Community college is a very affordable way to get an education.

In normal times, 2 consecutive gap years are fine. During a pandemic, there is even more reason to take a gap year, and it is still fine.

As others have said the challenge will be finding a school that you can afford.

The one student we know who was in a similar situation studied at a community college for two years and aced nearly all of her courses. She then applied to a nearby in-state public university that is close enough for her to be able to live with her father to save on housing costs. She got in with significant merit based financial aid, and is about 8 months away from graduating with very little debt, an employable major, and great grades (and knowing her probably great references). You might want to take a similar path.

@collegemom3717, The options available to students from middle income families whose parents can pay something are different than those available to students from families whose EFC is $0.