In many countries students take a gap year, or a year off, after completing high school before heading to college. The United States remains the exception to this trend, with the gap year viewed as an opportunity available only to the wealthiest students.
Currently, there are a handful of colleges who have established programs designed to fund a limited number of students and remove the financial barriers typically associated with a gap year. Princeton and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill were two early adopters of this type of program. In mid-March of this year, Tufts University announced a new one plus four program, which offers national and international service opportunities for participating students. The Tufts program will be sponsored by the university and is open to all students regardless of financial need.