The Gap Kids

More students are taking a year off between high school and college.

Text by Caroline J. Hanna

Photos by Samuel Masinter ’04

Minding the Gap

September 15, 2010

Sometimes it’s a desire to do good in the world or to satisfy a simmering wanderlust. Other times it’s a way to save money for college or to take care of a sick parent. Or it may simply be an effort to avoid some kind of scholarly burnout.

Whatever the reason, growing numbers of students of all backgrounds who have been admitted to Amherst are choosing to defer their schooling and spend several months working, volunteering and traveling, among other activities. And the consensus among these undergraduates and the college’s admission staff is that “gap years” are time well-spent.