Admissions

No College Classes Allowed During Gap Year?

Question: my daughter requested deferred admission and was granted it on the condition that she can not  be enrolled in any school for the gap year. she was going to work and take some part time classes in community college during her gap year.

Why the admitting college would be opposed to part time classes for enrichment? And how the admitting college can know about them?


It's common for colleges to restrict the number of classes that gap year students can take and, sometimes, to prohibit them entirely. I'm not sure why this policy is in place. Maybe it's to avoid any blurry lines between those who will enter as freshmen and those who will enter as transfers. Perhaps, too, college officials feel that taking courses during a gap year may defeat the purpose of this hiatus which is intended to allow teenagers to spend time away from school work, to recharge their batteries, and to pursue non-academic passions.

Obviously, if your daughter's college says NO GAP YEAR CLASSES, then there is little point in paying for her to take classes for credit. Not only is there a small chance that she could get caught (or, at the very least, would have to be dishonest about her plans) but also she wouldn't be able to report those classes to her college and to get whatever credit she has earned.

So if your daughter wants to take classes for enrichment purposes only ... in other words, to learn more about quantum physics or Islamic art or cognitive science ... she can ask to "audit" a class or more at the community college. She won't get credit, but she also won't have to write papers and take tests or run the risk of getting booted out by the college she plans to attend a year later. If, however, she wants to take the kinds of classes that her “real” college probably doesn’t offer anyway (e.g., therapeutic massage or French cooking), then she may be able to register officially for these. She just needs to check with the admission officers who accepted her to confirm that there won’t be any problems ... and even the grouchiest of admission folks probably won't be able to say no to a back rub or a crème brûlée. ;-)