Should you take a gap year in college?

After a semester of online classes, are you feeling some Zoom fatigue, and thinking about taking a break? Now more than ever, students are considering taking a gap year from college, with 40% of incoming students seriously considering it in 2020. While this can be a great opportunity to step out of school and explore your passions, here’s a quick checklist before you pull the trigger to pull out of college.

1. Check your university policies and financial aid

Before you embark on the magical journey that is a gap year, you definitely want to make sure that you’ll be able to return to your college campus. You’ll need to research your school’s policy for taking time off, check to make sure that your scholarships will still be renewed, and consider that if you start working, your federal aid could go down. Be sure to contact your advisors before taking a leave of absence, as they’ll know the ins and outs of your university. This step is the most important one you can take - you want to avoid your gap year from becoming your last year.

2. What’s your gap year plan?

Students have previously used gap years to travel the world, work in an office, and gain new insights on themselves and the world around them. With the state of the world right now, a lot of this isn’t possible. Taking a gap year just to sleep the days away isn’t a good use of your time; instead, come into your gap year with a plan on what you’d like to do. If you need somewhere to start, check out this article for tips and tricks on making your gap year special. Think about starting a passion project, or maybe learning to code - the possibilities really are endless.

3. Consider your “why”

There’s no wrong reason to take a gap year. However, knowing the reason why you’re taking a gap year can help to provide some clarity on whether it’s the right option for you. Additionally, it’s important to realize that the decision to take a gap year doesn’t come without drawbacks.  By writing a list of the pros and cons of taking a gap year, you can make the decision seamless, and be confident in your choice to stay or take a break from your university.

After clearing this checklist, you’re all set to have a successful, happy, and awesome gap year! When you eventually head back to the classroom, you’ll have some life experience under your belt. Ready to figure out your financial plan? Download Kora and start tracking your spending now

Learn more about managing your money in college