Does taking a gap year make sense financially? Especially in THIS economy? Well, yeah.

Let’s face it:  money plays a big part in your gap year decision.  It should—the Great Recession may technically be over, but times are a still tough.  And all this talk in Washington about the national debt ceiling has got a lot of us thinking about our own personal debt ceilings.  Is taking a year off before college a good or bad idea financially? 

I was pondering this very question when I came upon this article.  For those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing, allow me sum it up for you: taking a gap year does make good financial sense in this economy—if you take advantage of all the opportunities that the program has to offer, of course.

Today, as many as 50% of students that go directly from high school to college will switch their majors at least once, with others switching two or three times.  As a result, CollegeBoard.com notes that 57.5% of students now take 6 years or more to get their undergrad degree!  With tuition costs rising in both public and private schools, you (and/or your parents) will certainly want to cut down on the amount of semesters you may squander there.  As the above article explains, taking a gap semester or gap year can really pay off in the long run.  Some of Aspire by API’s gap programs give students time to try out prospective majors and careers.  As a result, they’re more focused when they do get to college, which leads to less indecision, which ultimately means less wasted money.

Another thing to keep in mind is that once you finish your time abroad, you’ll be a more attractive candidate to prospective employers.  In an increasingly globalized world, the ability to write and speak a language other than English isn’t just a nice blurb to write down on your résumé—it’s becoming a mandatory skill.  With Aspire’s language immersion programs in Spain, France, and Italy, you can perfect that second language you may have studied in high school, or even learn a new one.   A gap semester will also teach you skills like teamwork, time management and budgeting—and employers love that stuff!  We’ll dedicate another post to this topic later.

Gap programs don’t have to break the bank either.  There are a ton of resources out there to help you cover the cost, however you decide to spend your time off.  Check out these websites for scholarships and fundraising ideas:

http://www.internationalscholarships.com/browse.php

http://www.equalexchange.coop/fundraiser

http://testdriveyourfuture.com/gap-year-scholarships/ (NOTE: Aspire by API hasn’t fully looked into this resource yet, but we’re working on it!  For now, just know that in order to qualify for the scholarship, you have to buy the “Test Drive Your Future” Book [$14.95 on Amazon.com])

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Apr 29, 2021 @ 18:30
👋 Hi everyone! I'm Eryn Fleener a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, studying Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad with API Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy! I will be taking over API Instagram tomorrow, make sure you follow along!
🇮🇹 🍕

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Apr 29, 2021 @ 17:51
🗞️ 🌏 Breaking news! The world is opening back up and travel will return! Enjoy some good news before the weekend! #studyabroad #apiabroad #ispyapi #internationaltravel #Europe
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Apr 29, 2021 @ 10:57
A lovely day for a tour of Montparnasse au des années folles and some delicious glace 🍦avec API. There is always something new to discover in Paris! #apiabroad #paris
📷 by @api_paris https://t.co/FODTCGyJpf
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Apr 28, 2021 @ 18:40
The world is slowly opening back up! Vaccinated tourists will be allowed to visit Europe as early as this Summer! #ispyapi #studyabroad #summer2021
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