The gap is increasing

Oct 5, 2011
by: A-Fratto

Gap years are nothing new to education in America. The idea of a gap year is to take off time between high school and college, and was extremely popular during the 1970’s as a “self-exploratory sabbatical.”

In the last few years many high school guidance counselors and college admissions officers say the option is becoming more popular. The Ivy leagues have especially taken notice as Harvard has seen a 33% jump in the past decade in the number of students taking gap years, while the number of those accepted to MIT who take gap years has doubled. Princeton has gone even further in the recent explosion of gap years, when in 2009 it set up the “bridge-year program” so as to fund 20 incoming freshman to take a gap year adventure. (  

As like all trends, they get monopolized and in terms of gaps year, consulting agencies and programs have sprung up throughout the US to help students make the best of their gap year. Tom Griffiths, founder of a site that serves gap-year programs, told TIME Magazine “five years ago, perhaps 1% of his Web traffic originated in the U.S. Now, that figure is 10%.” Projects Abroad, a U.K. company that coordinates volunteer programs throughout the world has noticed the number of Americans taking gap years has almost quadrupled since 2005. (,9171,2015783,00.html