Who says you have to jump straight from high school graduation to first semester freshman year? Maybe you want more time for personal growth, challenge and enrichment. Imagine discovering more about yourself hiking under the big sky. Or learning firsthand what you can do to help improve a community. Maybe an international experience would challenge you to reexamine your role as a global citizen.
You’ll do all this and more in Elon’s three-pronged Gap Semester Program, a special 13-week fall term experience designed for students who wish to begin their Elon education through a different perspective while still earning 8 hours of academic credit.
Students will have an initial on-campus orientation to the Gap Semester and then return to Elon for the January Winter Term and spring semester.
Begin your Gap Semester in Wyoming with a three-week experience offered exclusively to Elon by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Experience the wilderness while you learn outdoor skills, leadership and environmental ethics.
This second leg of your journey encompasses a four-week experience that will take you across the country to examine poverty, hunger, the environment and other issues critical to the welfare of every community. You may work to weatherize homes, harvest an organic farm, or prepare meals for those in need to learn more about the cultures and traditions of different populations in order to understand the critical nature of responsible citizenship and service.
The Elon Gap Semester Program concludes with a six-week experience based at the Elon Center in San Jose, Costa Rica. You will live with local families, study Spanish and other courses as well as travel within this magnificent country.
Students should apply to the Gap Semester Program via the freshman application. Applicants may apply Early Decision (binding) or Final Deadline.
The Gap Semester Program is only for freshman applicants who plan to attend Elon and who meet the university’s standard for freshman admission.
The Elon Gap Semester Program is designed for the student who would benefit from a highly experiential program and would enjoy participating in a program that's alternative to the traditional on-campus college experience.
The program is NOT for the student who has a history of discipline problems, academic or social suspension from high school, or other personal circumstances that might be challenging to the the individual or group dynamic.
Program costs are the same as Elon tuition, fees, room and board for fall semester. Students will be considered enrolled at the university and eligible for any financial aid for which they qualify. Students will automatically be considered for the Presidential Scholarship or the Elon Engagement Scholarship; however, Gap students may not be Fellows due to the fall semester requirements of the Fellows Programs.