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The Gap Year

What is a Gap Year*?

A Gap Year is a structured period of time when a student takes an intentional break from formal education.

Benefits of taking a Gap Year*:​

  • Development of communication skills.

  • Increase in self-confidence.

  • Acquisition of skills to be successful in future careers.

  • Experience to help get a job.

  • Increase in readiness for college.

  • Knowledge on how to interact with people from different backgrounds than their own.

  • Discovery of life purpose.

  • Preparation for life's next steps.

In Gap Year surveys that reported on the above benefits, only 2-4% of respondents identified as Black or African-American*.


Risks of an 'Empty' Gap Period:
Absent a purposeful or intentional “Gap” period, the Young Adult period may forfeit social capital gain, be filled with what is comfortable and familiar, and be at risk for disconnection and its consequences.

*Data from

Gap Year Association (2020). Gap Year Alumni Survey 2020.

Gap Year Association (2015). Gap Year Association National Alumni Survey.

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