Gap Year Programs
Gap year programs offer opportunities for students to explore areas of interest as they plan for their postsecondary education and careers.
A "gap year" does not have to be a full year and can be taken at any point in time, although a common time is between high school and starting the next step in formal education.
Gap years are a time for students to explore the greater community, nation, or world, reflect on personal values and goals, and prepare for the next step in life. Gap year programs provide students with an opportunity to expand their perspective and gain direction that give their postsecondary education and career pursuits meaning and focus. For many students, the programs also provide them with time to develop independence and confidence and pursue various fields of interest. Many community colleges and universities support student participation in gap year programs.
Gap year programs are available for a wide range of interests including:
- National and global volunteer and enrichment
- Internships and work experiences
- Language immersion
- Conservation and sustainability
- Academic learning
- Fine arts and media
- Adventure travel
There are countless programs available. Explore the links below to find accredited programs and areas of interest. Speak to your school counselor for help researching opportunities that are right for you.
There are countless programs available. Explore the links below to find accredited programs and areas of interest. Speak to your school counselor for help researching opportunities that are right for you. American Gap Association - Membership
Programs accredited by American Gap Association (AGA) for safety, quality, and integrity.
American Gap Association - Introduction
General information about gap years by AGA.
American Gap Association - Financial Aid
AGA information to understand costs and finance a gap year program.
Thinking Beyond Borders
Understanding costs for a gap year.
Planet Gap Year
An extensive database of gap year experiences in the US and abroad.
U.S. News - Question About Gap Year
Frequently asked questions, including planning, financial aid, and when to apply to college.