Success in college
—and life.

Most high school graduates aren’t prepared to be successful in college. Year On bridges the gap between these two very different learning environments, providing students a toolkit of mindsets, habits and skills so they can become their most successful selves.


Who is Year On for?

Year On fellows are diverse, they come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences that make each cohort unique. They may be high school graduates or finishing up their first year of college. The things that make them alike are their focus on building clarity around their personal path, passions and studies. They’re curious, willing to try, and motivated to make change.

Meet our fellows and learn more about their gap year experiences:

College prep

How does a Year On help prepare your graduate for college?

Students around the globe have taken gap years for decades as a transition period prior to college; this time “on” often gives them insight and enriches their educational experience. Our curriculum emphasizes agency, emotional intelligence, and awareness of personal habits and biases, allowing students to enter campus with a new sense of insight, maturity, and direction.

Effective Work Habits and Goal Setting

The first step to success? Creating the right environment.

  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Follow through
  • Productivity habits
Confidence and Self-Awareness

We build the foundational characteristics needed to pursue and achieve ambitious goals.

  • Stand up for themselves
  • Be resourceful and solve problems
  • Have a better understanding of who they are
  • Navigate difficult situations
  • Practice accountability
  • Understand and manage emotions
Power Skills

Power Skills, what were previously called ‘soft skills', are the skills that are critical to a successful career, no matter what profession your graduate pursues.

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication 
  • Collaboration and how to work with others
  • Identifying accurate sources of information
Foundational Life Skills

Real life takes skills that weren’t taught in high school—these are the tools needed to succeed in college and beyond.

  • Health, safety & wellness
  • Personal responsibility
  • Money management
  • Coping with stress
  • Establishing good personal habits
  • Relationship building
Professional Skills

Finding a job is step one for career success. These skills give your graduate a head start.

  • Writing a resume and cover letter
  • Interviewing
  • Cold emailing
  • Professional etiquette
Direction Finding

For many graduates, beginning is the hardest part. We’ll show them where to start, help discover where they want to go and how to navigate life’s uncertainties in between.

  • Explore career paths
  • Learn what it takes to succeed in potential careers

With these skills comes clarity—clarity in who you are, clarity in what you want to do, and confidence in how to get there.

Throughout the program they will learn what they don’t like and explore things they might like. Regardless of what your graduate’s next steps are, they will leave Year On more clear on where they’re going, and more confident in their ability to get there.

Top 10 questions about Year On
Find answers to the most common questions about Year On's program.
Our approach to learning
Read the Curriculum Overview to learn more about how we structure our programs.
What's included in the program
Learn about program expenses and financial assistance.

Is my graduate ready for college?

College is a big step, and nearly 60% of high school graduates don’t feel prepared. If your high schooler struggles with any of the following skills, they may need some time to focus on these capabilities before they start college.

Is excited about college and is driving the process themselves

Self-discipline; completing tasks in a timely manner

Coping with stress and difficult situations

Time management and organization

Can set goals and follow through on them

Organizing his or her thoughts

Is confident standing up to peer pressure

Is comfortable asking for help when they need it

See why our approach to learning works and find out more about our curriculum


The Truth About Gap Years

Kaplan COO Lorin Thomas talks to Year On CEO Charlie Taibi and Gapper Daniel Purtell about the benefits and challenges of taking a gap year, and whether it’s right for your family.


of students who take a gap year return to school afterwards


of gappers said their gap year increased their readiness for college


of gappers reported an increase in self-confidence

* American Gap Association