Gap years are becoming an popular and viable option for rising college students in the US. In this post, we will outline some of the tips for you to apply to college during a gap year and provide insight into how you can tackle them appropriately to gain acceptance to your top-choice colleges.
1. High School Records and Transcripts
You will discuss your gap year with your counselor before you graduate high school. In this case, your guidance counselor will keep your files handy for you so that nothing is lost or discarded. If you have not had this conversation before graduating, you should let your guidance counselor know as soon as possible. Over email or the phone that you will be applying to college after your gap year and will soon need access to these files.
Assuming you are only taking a year or possibly two off, the logistics of getting your records and transcripts from high school should be reasonably simple. You need to contact your high school guidance counselor to do so. Also, you should initiate contact fairly early in the application process. If you are applying for a new decision, this means you should be in touch as soon as the school year starts.
In most cases, your high school will have your complete file several years after you graduate. But of course, this is not ever the case. Either way, you will need to find out early on what materials are on file and how to access them. With electronic files now being the norm, most schools can easily pull up copies of any transcripts or other materials that you need. Some may even keep copies of teacher guidance and the college essays you wrote during your senior year.
2. Teacher Recommendations
Teacher and guidance counselor suggestions are perhaps the most important part of your high school file that you will want to secure in advance. Recommendations that were written while you were still in high school are frequently more descriptive since they are written with you fresh in the teacher’s mind. If you have to go back after a year to get new recommendations, it is unlikely that these rewritten versions will be as illustrative as those written during your high school years.
Your file at your high school may or may not include the references you got from your teachers or your guidance counselor while you were a student. If it does include these suggestions, the guidance office could send them out for you along with your high school transcripts when you request them. If your file does not involve references, it will be up to you to track down your teachers. Also, ask if they have kept copies that they wouldn’t mind passing along to you again. If you are in high school now and anticipating taking a gap year, you should consider holding on to any recommendations yourself so you don’t have to rely on your high school to retain them.
You may need to get new teacher recommendations. This may be the case if your relationship with the teacher has changed. For example, you may have gained a better understanding of another teacher in your senior year. He or she can now provide more comprehensive insight into what makes you a great college candidate.
Finally, consider including at least one proposal from your five distances. It could be from a teacher, a supervisor, a mentor or a boss. Although these people may only know you for a short time, the admissions committee needs to understand your level of effectiveness and commitment over the five gaps. If you take a year of a gap, you can include more suggestions from your five differences, but generally, a proposal from your five gaps combined with recommendations from high school teachers. You will give a full description of you as a student and as a community member.
3. Test Scores
The strange thing is that your test scores will still be valid after your gap year, but you have no obligation to use them if you feel that you can perform better by taking the tests again.
To use your current score, they must be under five for the SAT and ACT and under two for the TOEFL. You should request score reports by ordering them through the Online User Portal test site, just like you do before your distance.
Also, you can retake the test at any time before you apply to colleges. You need to think about this in advance if your five-year plan will take you on extensive travel. You will need to locate the nearest test center and ensure that the tests you want to take are available on the days when you will be able to take them. Remember, there are SAT and ACT centers available outside the United States, but the costs associated with testing outside the country can sometimes be more than those of local testing centers.
4. Accounting For Your Gap Year
If you are applying for a distance college year, it will win completely without a great explanation of why you chose to study a distance year and what you have drawn from experience. You can include this information as part of your regular application essay, or you can include it as additional information.
In both cases, be sure to clearly explain your inspiration for the five gaps and quantify what you’ve achieved so far in that time. For example, if you are taking a year to gain work experience and save money for college, include numbers to quantify the number of hours you work each week. Although you usually don’t give an exact figure for your university savings, you can give a less specific description as I have saved enough money to cover the cost of room and tables throughout the first year of college. It includes how many of the people you impacted or others that would indicate the amount of work you have done.
If you are still starting in your gap year when you are writing your essay, focus largely on why you participated in the gap year. Then explain clearly what your goals are, how you plan to achieve them, and any progress you have made.
Applying to college while the gap in a year adds another level of complexity to the application process, but a small plan can go a long way. Starting the process early, contact your high school guidance counselor and teachers who have written your recommendations and plan on how you will quantify your achievement over the five gaps. You will make the process easier. Account for your high school transcript, teacher recommendations and standardized test scores in addition to writing a strong personal statement to reflect your decision. You will be on the right track in no time.
If you are looking at a gap year, don’t let the complexity of college applications scare you. Many universities appreciate the experience of gaping years. They realize that students who study them can enter college with increased maturity and perspective.
In short, these are some tips for you:
Start the application process early:
Gap students may have a busier and less structured schedule than high school students. This is especially true for students who are traveling during their distance years.
One way to deal with this annoying problem is to start your college applications six to eight months before the deadline. Mark your most important dates, such as application deadlines and test dates, on the calendar, and set reminders for one month and one week in advance.
With such a long time frame, it could be challenging to postpone – especially if you are spending nice summer days outdoors or working hard in part-time jobs or internships. It is up to you to set a deadline, even though you could ask your parents or a trusted friend to help you keep track.
Capitalize on technology:
Visiting campuses is a significant step in finding the right school for you. However, if you are out of the country, physically visiting a college or university could be prohibitively expensive.
You should consider taking a virtual tour. Several schools offer them, and a virtual tour may give you valuable insight into the look and feel of an institution.
Use networking to your advantage:
Contact the alumni networkings for your prospective academies, and ask whether there is a local chapter even a local individual who graduated from one of your target institutions. Keep in touch, and ask for a short informational interview to discuss the person’s experiences with the school. This strategy works best for those students who are considering large universities.
Bolster your application selectively:
You can take some courses online or at a community college. There is nothing wrong with delaying university for a year while you live at home, work and save money for tuition, and earn credits you can later transfer to a four-year university. That will enable you to graduate with less debt later, giving you more opportunities after earning a college degree. Taking courses will also be helpful items to showcase on the college application.
You should not let the gap year be a waste academically. Keep your brain active, and your application strong, and taking a class to boost a weak point in your high school transcript. Therefore, you can take a course on a topic that you are considering as a major.
By following our tips, you will be sure to find the right fit and to give yourself the best chance of applying a good college. Also, you can read some essay such as How to become a digital marketer,How to lead a groupdiscussioneffectively,How to find digital marketer jobs?