Why Harvard encourages students to take a gap year

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Even though Malia Obama got accepted to Harvard University, she won’t attend the prestigious school right away.

She is taking a year off between high school and college.

It’s called a gap year — and it’s something many schools, like Harvard, actually encourage.

According to the Washington Post, there is anecdotal evidence that students benefit from taking time off.

The dean of admissions at Middlebury College found the average GPA for students who had taken a gap year was higher than those who had not, the newspaper reported.

According to Harvard University, between 80 to 110 students take a gap year before starting the Ivy League school.

A post on the school’s website says:

Harvard College encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way — provided they do not enroll in a degree-granting program at another college. Deferrals for two-year obligatory military service are also granted. Each year, between 80 and 110 students defer their matriculation to the College.