Fewer than 10 percent of TCU students take gap year

Though a recent study shows an increase in the number of students taking a year off between high school and college at other private universities, this is not a trend at TCU, Dean of Admission Ray Brown wrote in an e-mail.

An article in TIME Magazine reported that other institutions, including Harvard and Princeton, were seeing an increase in students opting to take a year off for various reasons, including travel opportunities and internships. This year off between high school and college is known as a gap year.

Brown wrote that at TCU, fewer than 10 students per year opt for deferment after their admission is granted.

“Everyone who has submitted that type of request to TCU has been given one in the decade I’ve been here,” Brown wrote.

According to a study conducted by Stefanie DeLuca, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, students who took a gap year for any reason were 64 percent less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than students who began college immediately after graduation.

While the university does not have a way to track the students who opt for deferment, Brown wrote that he thought taking a gap year could have a positive effect on students.

“I’m a fan of them since, just as study abroad experiences illustrate, in most cases students return from these programs completely different people 8212; in really wonderful ways,” Brown wrote.

In a transcription of an NPR broadcast, DeLuca said gap years were more common among wealthy students who were looking for real world challenges.

“For the other end of the socio-economic spectrum, the gap year is not called the gap year; it’s just called life,” she said.

Sophomore biology major Alejandro Orfanos said taking a year off could mean a significant delay in projected graduation as well as being a year behind for one’s professional plans.

“If you want to go to medical school or something like that, it’s a long process,” Orfanos said.

Sophomore kinesiology major Christian DeLaughter said a gap year could make his classes seem more difficult because it would allow him time to forget some of the material from earlier classes. With many science classes, progressing is all about repetition, he said.

“The longer you wait between classes…it just makes it harder for you,” Delaughter said.