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01869 338890

Gap Year Participants Graduate College Earlier and Have Higher Citizenship Levels

Date added: Thursday 12th May 2016

The American Gap Association (AGA), a nonprofit accreditation and standards-setting organization for Gap Year programs, announced results from the first-ever National Gap Year Alumni Survey. The survey is designed to identify the impact of gap year participation among college-age students.  Among other findings, the survey indicates that students who include a gap year as part of their higher education experience earn college degrees in less than four years and are almost twice as likely to vote in national elections.

“The findings indicate the social and economic value of gap year education,” said Ethan Knight, Founder and Executive Director of the American Gap Association. “As a result, the integration of gap year programming into the higher education experience is an important consideration for families, educators and policy-makers.”

The survey, which was run by the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University, was IRB approved and included approximately 1,000 American gap-year students and alumni ranging in age from 18-60 years old.  Key findings include:

The median time to graduation for a 4-year degree was 3.75 years.  The average for students attending US colleges is six years.

Respondents are almost twice as likely to vote in national elections

89% reported participating in community service in the last month

83% of respondents indicated a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 42% reported a GPA of 3.7 (or higher)

86% indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs

“The survey findings provide conclusive evidence about the benefits gappers see in their lives,” said Karl Haigler, gap year researcher and author of The Gap-Year Advantage (St. Martin’s Press). “Making the successful transition to and through college, seeing themselves as citizens of the world and more engaged than their peers, the students represented in this study provide a powerful portrait of what’s possible when you take a gap year and learn more about yourself and the world.”

The actual data can be found at

About the American Gap Association

The American Gap Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit accreditation and standards-setting organization for Gap Years that is recognized as such by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.  The organization is dedicated to advancing the field of gap year education by collaboratively pioneering research on student benefits, as well as serving as an information and advocacy hub for university admissions personnel and educational counselors.