Not everyone who attends college does so right after they graduate high school. There are varying reasons for this. Some of these are:
- Financial complications – there may have been delays in financial aid processing or a student’s needs more time to apply for scholarships and possibly work to earn money for school while seeking student aid
- Gainful employment – the desire to gain work experience first and have time to decide on a major; you may be able to explore some areas of job interest to determine if they are right for you
- Test grades – time for attempts to make better ACT/SAT testing scores in hopes of landing a high level scholarship
- Travel – the desire to do some traveling before going right back into school when the summer ends
- Internship/Volunteer program – becoming involved in an internship or volunteer program that allows you to travel expenses-paid and/or learn more about a particular field you are considering
There are many people who have successfully obtained a degree who did not attend college the first year after they graduated high school. It simply isn’t the same for everyone, and can be a positive experience as long as the year is not wasted laying around on the couch watching television or lounging by the pool; the time should be utilized for something constructive.
There are some things to consider when making the decision to delay beginning college for a year:
- Tuition costs generally go up from year to year as opposed to going down, somewhere in the neighborhood of around 8% to 10%
- Not everyone with intentions to come back to college actually makes it; priorities change during their time off
- The later you start college, the later you’ll start your career; depending on your profession, that could result in a loss to the tune of whatever your starting annual salary would be
- By waiting until you are ready to start rather than when your parents or peers want you to may result in you being more prepared for college and more receptive to your studies when you do start back to school.
Many colleges allow you to go ahead and apply while in your high school senior year. Once accepted, you simply request that your acceptance be deferred until the following year. There may be time limits on when you must start school in order to retain your acceptance, and not every college offers this option.