Harvard Business School today (June 2) disclosed that it will enroll an entering class of MBA students this fall that will be more than 200 students shy of its more typical 930-to-940-student cohort. After dipping into its waitlist, the school expects to welcome a class of only 720 students, nearly a quarter less than normal, because many students decided to defer their enrollment by a year or two.
Poets and Quants
What to Know if you are Planning a Gap Year
Choosing your own adventure is a defining moment for school leavers around Australia. For some, marking the transition from high school to the great unknown means heading straight to a job or starting a degree.
With many colleges and universities still deciding when to re-open their campuses after they were shuttered due to COVID-19, many high school seniors are thinking about taking a gap year. Putting off college during the pandemic might enable them to get the on-campus experience they desire in 2021 instead of going to school remotely this fall.
It was only November when Hannah Book, 18, a high school student in Bryn Mawr, Pa., was accepted to her first choice, Emory College in Atlanta. “I got accepted early decision,” she said. “I was really excited, and my mom and I jumped up and down. I felt like all my hard work had paid off in that moment.” But that day, when she had clarity about her future, now seems worlds away. It’s become increasingly clear that she probably won’t have a traditional college experience in the fall.
The New York Times
As a sophomore, it is a daily occurrence for me to hear my friends utter phrases such as “maybe I’ll take a gap year,” “I need a break,” or — best yet — “I think I’ll drop out.” There are a lot of stress factors here at Princeton — academically and socially — and sophomore year seems to be around the time when people start to feel the effects of an approaching burnout.
Gap years have long been popular in Europe and Australia. Now, a small but growing group of U.S. teens and their parents are jumping aboard the gap year trend. When Hillary Billings’ oldest son, Ted, was accepted at New York University (NYU), she was proud — but concerned. “We felt he needed another year to mature,” Billings says. Before her son was “thrown into the deep end in the Big Apple,” she wanted him to take a gap year to mature a little so he’d be ready for the urban living, social life, and academics at NYU.
Colleges are offering financial aid to entice admitted students to stay away for a year. Gap years, long popular in Europe, have gained ground in the U.S. not just for wealthy teens who can afford a lengthy vacation, but also for students of modest means who want to pause before jumping into academic endeavors.
Wall Street Journal
The idea of taking a gap year before college — a long-accepted practice in countries like Norway, Denmark, and Turkey, where more than 50% of students postpone college for a year — is starting to gain traction in the U.S. Contrary to the perception that a student who takes a gap year is either academically troubled or “backpacking around Europe,” many of today’s gap-year students have secured their college placement and understand that taking a break can have significant, long-lasting benefits.
When my best friend Louisa graduated from high school, she and I bought plane tickets to Hidalgo, Mexico and left to help teach English at an elementary school. We spent a year putting on school programs and events, reading story books, making crafts with sticky-handed four-year-olds, and meeting Louisa’s extended family. I learned, felt, saw, touched, tasted, heard and experienced so much during that year. My Spanish-speaking skills increased, I gained a whole new family, and I knew for sure that I wanted to major in elementary education.
High tuition, restrictions on travel, a potential fall semester online – these factors are forcing many college students and their families to rethink their plans. Some students are wondering whether they should go to college this fall at all. NPR’s Elissa Nadworny covers higher ed and joins us now to talk about this.