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Thinking Gap Year? Think ‘Visiting Year’ Instead

Jul 8, 2020, 11:07 AM by CCC Staff
The practice of taking a gap year is slowly trending upward. But what's an alternative option?

Young college-bound student contemplates taking a gap year.

Incoming students from the high school class of 2020 — and current college students across the nation — are facing a big decision this fall. Attend college or take a year off?

A gap year is a year-long break that’s typically taken before entering college. Given the many unknowns as to whether classes will be offered in person or online this fall at four-year universities, some may be considering taking the year off from their education. But is this the best time to put college on hold? There’s another way. The visiting year.

An Affordable Solution That's Close to Home

Students can achieve higher education success by relying on an affordable, high-quality educational resource right in their backyard: Clackamas Community College. CCC has the lowest tuition in the Portland metro area, offers robust student support as well as assistance in paying for college. Annual tuition at CCC is currently just $5,079, compared to $11,329 at public universities and $35,195 for private universities.

Four-Year Institutions are in Limbo

At a time when unemployment is high, travel is restricted and people are being encouraged to stay home, it makes sense to enroll at CCC. Why pay the hefty university price tag only to stay at home taking online courses, fully missing the four-year university experience?

Many campuses may remain shuttered for the near future and distance learning will continue to take center stage. Even for campuses that decide to reopen, it’s possible students will be asked to return home if there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases. Rather than taking time off, enroll at Clackamas Community College for a visiting year and stay on track for when universities return to normal.

Decisions, Decisions

It’s understandable to feel conflicted. However, taking a break in education comes at a cost. A late college start means one year less of earning potential. According to the Lumina Foundation and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual earnings for those with a bachelor's degree are more than $30,000 more a year. Is delaying one’s future worth that price?

The world is on pause, but college doesn’t have to be. What might appear to be a difficult decision may be as simple as looking closer to home and enrolling in Clackamas Community College.

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