Gap Years Persuasive Speech

INTRO
-Has anyone ever heard of a gap year?
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-A gap year is a period of time a student takes off of school, usually lasting no longer than a year.
-While is it fairly uncommon for American students, gap years are very popular among many European and Australian students.
-This time away from school is often used in a variety of different ways such as traveling, working, and volunteering. -Next card about me
-I was able to personally experience an eight month long gap year when I graduated high school a semester early.
-Explain Australia
THESIS: Contrary to many American’s belief that gap years are simply a way to procrastinate college, gap years are beneficial in many different ways for college-bound students.
TRANSITION: One of these many benefits is an increase in students’ grade point average, tangible proof that gap years can be beneficial. CLICK
BODY I
-Research studies have found a correlation between taking a gap year and a higher college GPA.
-University of Western Australia researchers found 2.3% higher GPA
-But skeptics wonder how this could possibly be true.
-In another study researching why this happens, gap year students positively predicted academic motivation
-Meaning: After the gap year, they felt motivated again, something so many people lack after 12 years of school, knowing they are about to start at least 4 more. -Next card about me
-For me, that was the case. Even finishing just one semester of my senior year was hard. I’m sure for many of you that was the case too.
-After my gap year, I came to TCU motivated to focus on my academics and keep my grades up.
-And while it may not sound like a lot, my GPA has improved 5% from my cumulative high school GPA.
TRANSITION: Don’t get me wrong, this improvement is a great benefit, but for me and many others who took a gap year, my gap year gave me something even more important than a higher GPA. CLICK
BODY II
-Often times taking a gap year can lead students to a better understanding of what they want to major in.
-This is huge because there are so many students that have know idea what they want to major in when they begin college.
-In fact, according to Dr. Fritz Grupe, founder of mycollege.com, 80% of college-bound students have not declared.
-Further, of the 20% have declared at major, half will change it at least one. -Next card
-However, by taking a gap year, college-bound students can increase their chances of knowing what they want to do.
-After researching and talking with 280 of gap year alumni, co-authors of “The Gap Year Advantage” 60% attributed their gap year to helping them discover or confirm their choice in major and/or career.
-This was definitely the case for me. Working with the refugee children in Australia during my gap year inspired my idea that I wanted to major in psychology and helped me discover I wanted to work with children with traumatic pasts, just as so many of the students I worked with had.

TRANSITION: Discovering that I wanted to major in psychology proved to be very valuable because it set me up to be able to graduate on time by not ever having to switch majors. CLICK

BODY III
+Taking a gap year really can save you money in the end.
-Organization named Education Trust found that, on average, only 37% of freshman actually end of graduating in the 4 years it is supposed to take for a bachelor’s degree.
-26% were found to, on average, take between 5 and 6 years to graduate.
-As a result of the increased motivation and confirmed choice of major from a gap year, a student will be set up for an overall cheaper college education that those students who take longer to graduate because of changes in their majors. -Next card
-For example, TCU’s current tuition is $46,350.
-Because my gap year allowed me to discover what I really want to do through experience, I have not had to change my major and am on track to graduate on time.
-As you can see in the graph, compared to someone who does not take a gap year and is unaware of what they want to do, possibly resulting in multiple major changes and a longer stay at TCU, my total college tuition is going to cost $46,350 less than a student who takes 5 years to graduate.
-Further, someone taking 6 years to graduate will pay $92,700 more than me or another student who have taken advantage of the benefits of a gap year.
TRANSITION: Because of this, both I and my parents, the ones paying for my college degree, are aware of just how much a positive impact gap years can have.
CONCLUSION
-While there are many people who think gap years have no benefits and are just a way for students to postpone college, as you’ve seen there are actually MANY proven and researched benefits.
-From a higher GPA to possibly saving thousands of dollars in the end, gap years are an exceptional tool in preparing a student for college.
-Taking a gap year is an experience that will allow
students to reap both academic and financial benefits throughout his or collegiate years.

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