Google the term gap year and you will find thousands of articles and organizations promoting the idea of taking a year off between high school and college or a year during or just after college. While there are few studies on the concept of a gap year nearly everyone who has taken a year to serve or study abroad or just to develop focus and discover purpose will say that it was the experience that contributed the most to their ultimate success. Why? because a year that is dedicated to discovering ones strengths and finding a personal sense of purpose will always drive academic success and career choices.

One-third of all new college freshmen drop out before their sophomore year and in the United States only 57% of college students graduate within six years. Often the reason is less about academic preparation or even money and more related to a sense of purpose and the ability to focus and keep the distractions in check. An intentional year spent exploring the world, discovering personal strengths and experiencing what it means to be independent helps develop that sense of purpose and the maturity necessary for success.

Harvard recommends a gap year in all of its acceptance letters, Princeton has developed its own “Bridge Year” program. The gap year is not only for students bound for the Ivy League, anyone can benefit. That is why Traverse attempts to provide a broad based program at a reasonable cost to participants and it is why we are determined to help participants find the necessary funding. We believe that our programs should be open to all.


Why a gap year is valuable

Online resources that strengthen the case for a gap year: