A new Duke program will give admitted students a chance to take a gap year before coming to college—on Duke's dime.
Students admitted to the Class of 2023 via the early or regular decision processes will be able to apply for between $5,000 and $15,000 of funding for the gap year program of their choice. Students can either design their own program or sign up for a pre-approved program, funded by the Duke Gap Year Program.
Receiving funding will not affect students' need-based financial aid packages and students who decide to take a gap year will not need to participate in the program.
“On many metrics of student performance, from level of retention to student happiness, there’s evidence that taking a gap year provides benefits in both the short term and the long term,” said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions, in a release.
The program, which will support roughly 15 to 20 projects annually, is funded by a gift from Laura and Gary Lauder, Silicon Valley philanthropists.
The program's website notes that students coming to Duke have typically been busy and focused for many years. Gap years provide a chance to counter those draining years.
"This is your opportunity to catch your breath for a year, to gain some perspective, to make a difference in a community near or far, to grow as a person, and to be better prepared for all that college has to offer, all with financial support from Duke," the website reads.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
Managing Editor 2018-19, 2019-2020 Features & Investigations Editor
A member of the class of 2020 hailing from San Mateo, Calif., Ben is The Chronicle's Towerview Editor and Investigations Editor. Outside of the Chronicle, he is a public policy major working towards a journalism certificate, has interned at the Tampa Bay Times and NBC News and frequents Pitchforks.