Keeping it brief

Influx of gap years causes concern

By Michael Hartt, Page Editor

With colleges like Wayne State University, Sierra College and the University of California College system planning on having classes exclusively online in the fall, more students than ever are considering taking a gap year.

Senior Audrey Cho is taking a gap year herself and has many friends who are considering it.

“I have talked to many friends who were worried, and (who) thought might take a gap year now,” Cho said.

Gap years, which are typically characterized by a year of traveling abroad or serving a community, pose issues for universities with tight budgets. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, private universities rely on tuition for 30 percent of their operating revenue. With less people attending and paying tuition as they normally would, many universities will likely encounter budgeting issues.

Furthermore, according to Bloomberg, a majority of the tuition that colleges receive comes from students who are not getting financial aid, and students are more likely to take a gap year if they are of a higher income level and, therefore, pay full tuition.

Cho also agrees that the COVID-19 crisis will likely have a negative financial impact on colleges.

“(There) will most likely (be) budget cuts for schools because of how bad the economy has gotten so far,” Cho said.

Cho said that although she recognizes colleges might have a more difficult time with the influx of gap years being taken, students will still want to take them because they are not getting the complete college experience.

“(When students) pay so much for a prestigious school, and then classes end up being online, it doesn’t seem like (they’re) getting the full experience, especially when considering how expensive most of these universities are,” Cho said.