Gap Years Persuasive Speech

-Has anyone ever heard of a gap year?
-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
-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
-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, 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

+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.
-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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