Colleges That Offer Gap Year Programs

Thinking about the gap year after high school? In this article, learn about the list of all the colleges for students who are looking for colleges that offer Gap Year Program.

TCM Staff

27th August 2020

Some colleges offer gap year programs so that in an orderly and meaningful way, students can have a year off as support.

When you are about to receive your high school diploma and you realize that you're not yet ready for the world of college.

Maybe you don’t know what you want to study yet, or which school you want to go to or what your goals are -you want to explore first and want to spend time to figure it out.

If you feel all of these, you are someone who would delay further studies and take a gap year.

What is a Gap year?

It is typically a year-long break before or after college/university during which students engage in various educational and developmental activities. Many students drop one year after high school or universities before continuing their studies. 

Gap years usually occur between high school and university; or after graduating from university and before entry into graduate school.

It helps them to get a clear idea of their interest and build a better future for themselves.

Ongoing universities

Gap year acceptance is slightly less in the United States compared to Australia or the United Kingdom and other countries. But, now more and more universities in the US have started to accepting high school graduates who want to defer their acceptance for a year 

Here are some colleges that offer gap year programs.

Princeton University 

Princeton University offers a select number of students the opportunity to participate in 9 months, tuition-free volunteer programs abroad, in their competitive bridge program. Program locations include countries like Bolivia, China, India, Indonesia, and Senegal among others.

Students who give back to these communities will be well equipped to give back to and be active participants at Princeton University as well when they return from their deferred year. 

Tufts University

Tufts University is known nationally and globally for its international relations department. Tufts University created an innovative way to bridge gap year programs that focus on volunteering and community services.

Students can give back to communities such as Ecuador, India, or Brazil. They also have domestic programs in the U.S, which focuses on specific cities

Florida State University (FSU) 

Florida State University highly encourages incoming students to take a gap year. They also provide additional for gap year students in need. Florida State University provides flexibility for students who need some time.

So go off and explore the world.

American University (AU)

American University (AU)’s gap year program is located in one of the most global-minded cities in Washington, D.C.

The program is towards helping students change into the fast-moving life of college and career-preparation.

Students have the opportunity for interning with organizations such as the National Geographic Society or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, giving them life and work experience so that they can carry on in their international careers when they attend American University (AU).

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC)

Here the gap year program is like a fellowship program, in which students receive funding for a gap year that is dedicated to service projects abroad for a year.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) has path a way to bridge gap year programs that focus on volunteering and community services.

Students get to propose their own gap year location in their application and explain why they’re passionate to pursue this project in that specific location.

Elon University

They offer a gap year semester, for students who want to start their college career in an “off-campus environment.” Elon University is one of the best options for continuing your studies.

The program offers international leadership and service opportunities in countries such as Costa Rica, while still allowing students to pursue academic interests.

St. Norbert College

Offers big rewards through their Gap Experience. This program offers the perfect combination of service, adventure, and exploration.

Students will give back through volunteer projects in New Mexico and will learn more about the world around them through a cultural exchange program in Guatemala is they enroll in St. Norbert College. It gives them exposure to a lot of opportunities. 

The New School

 A non-profit research university in New York City offers a Global Immersion Program, in which students are encouraged to explore the Spanish language and local culture in Costa Rica.

In The New School, students can earn credits in academics while exploring abroad, with an emphasis on social justice in Central America.

Peace Corps

Peace Corps is a globally-respected program that brings American volunteers to communities in need over the world. Although not a university program, the Peace Corps is an incredible program that would truly set you apart in future college and job applications.

Volunteers must tackle the challenge of living relatives in remote, rural areas of countries that are struggling financially and socially.

It is a life-changing experience that will make you a much more globally sensitive individual.


If you’re looking for a gap year abroad but can’t afford it, AmeriCorps is the best opportunity based in the United States.

Not only will students spend about ten months to a year giving back to small communities through their volunteer service, but they are also provided room, boarding, and even paid a stipend that goes to their college education.


In Conclusion, try figuring out what results in you expect from the experience. These gap year courses are not only about students wanting to learn how to spend time outdoors but also about working towards creating leadership opportunities for minority groups.

Generally, you can get a vibe from programs just by doing a little bit of research and looking at what exactly they have to offer. 

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