Leap Year Frequently Asked Questions
Why do a gap year instead of going straight to college?
Who is eligible to be a Leap Year Fellow?
Is Leap Year just an extra year of high school?
How long is the program? Do I have to do the entire program or can I just do some of it? Do I have to go to college after?
What does a typical day in the life of a Leap Year Fellow look like?
Will my ACT score be sure to increase through Leap Year?
Am I guaranteed to get into college?
Will I get other scholarships in Leap Year?
I don’t know much about tutoring elementary kids in reading, how do I know if I’ll be any good at it?
Can I have another job and still be in the program?
Where does Leap Year meet and what is VOX?
1. Why do a gap year instead of going straight to college?
College is an amazing opportunity- but also a very challenging one, especially for first generation students. Many students are not, or do not feel, fully ready to take on those challenges by themselves. It is best to go to college when you are ready and supported by a strong community of like-minded friends and mentors. Leap Year will help you get there!
Leap Year was founded to create a place for talented students to take a “gap year” to get ready to succeed in college and leadership. Gap years (when a student spends a year between high school and college learning and getting work experience) have been popular with wealthy students for decades, for example Malia Obama, Hugh Jackman, and J.K. Rowling all took gap years. Students who take gap years have been shown to perform better in college than those who did not. Leap Year is the first program to create a college and leadership gap year specifically for first generation students.
2. Who is eligible to be a Leap Year Fellow?
To be eligible to be a Leap Year Fellow, applicants must:
- Be a Class of 2018 graduating high school senior.
- Be a US citizen (or “lawful permanent resident”) and live in Metro Atlanta.
- Be committed to attending the program on time everyday and starting (and graduating from) college in August 2019.
- Have a history of academic achievement demonstrated through GPA (eligible candidates must have between 4.0-2.5 GPA) and ACT or SAT scores.
- Demonstrate an interest in community service and the determination to push through to overcome challenges.
- Be a first generation student (parents did not graduate from college) and/or from a low income background.
3. Is Leap Year just an extra year of high school?
No, think of Leap Year more as an internship that helps you get ready for college and your future. Of course to be prepared to succeed on the ACT and in college classes, Leap Year Fellows will take time studying and writing, but much of the college tours, career visits, and fun trips are designed by Leap Year Fellows. Leap Year is your time to learn, grow, and explore so that when you get to college, you are ready for the academics and know how to use your education to achieve your future goals.
4. How long is the program? Do I have to do the entire program or can I just do some of it? Do I have to go to college after?
Leap Year is a one year program that begins August 1st and ends between July 31st of the next year. Our tentative meeting time is 8:30am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday. However, there are frequent breaks, including major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Winter break, and several other breaks and holidays throughout the year.
To be accepted as a Leap Year Fellow, and earn the full $550 per month and $3,000 scholarship, you must commit to attending the entire program, on-time, everyday.
Leap Year is for students who want to graduate from college (2-year or 4-year, not technical or trade), so if you apply to Leap Year, we will help you enroll in college during our program. You should not apply to Leap Year if you are not committed to attending and graduating from college immediately after the program.
5. What does a typical day in the life of a Leap Year Fellow look like?
Each day will be spent with about half of the time working on getting ready for the ACT, applying to college, learning about careers, etc, while the other half will be spent tutoring elementary school students in reading and other community service- all of which will look great on your college applications!
Also, about 1-3x per month we have a guest speaker or go on a college tour, a company visit, or a fun trip. Past trips have included Google, sitting in the audience during a taping of a courtroom drama, hiking, getting Vietnamese food, and visiting Kennesaw State, Clayton State, Clark Atlanta, Georgia State, Middle Georgia State, and more!
6. Will my ACT score be sure to increase through Leap Year?
While Leap Year will work hard to help you prepare to take the ACT exam, your score will depend on how much effort you put into studying.
If you have a positive attitude, listen to our advice, and put in the time and effort, you will see an improvement. Past Leap Year Fellows’ average score increased by 4 points!
7. Am I guaranteed to get into college?
Ultimately it is up to the colleges as to whether they will accept you into their schools so we cannot guarantee enrollment, however, if you are accepted into Leap Year and successfully complete our program, you should have no problem enrolling in college. We currently have a 100% college enrollment rate.
8. Will I get scholarships (other than the $3,000) in Leap Year?
Leap Year will help you research and apply to other scholarships during our program. However, it is important to note that we cannot guarantee that you will get other scholarships, and we will only provide letters of recommendation to Leap Year Fellows who successfully complete our program.
9. I don’t know much about tutoring elementary kids in reading, how do I know if I’ll be any good at it?
You do not need experience because Leap Year will train you during orientation. All you need is to be a good role model and have a positive attitude. Kids who do not read well by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Help make sure that Atlanta’s youth start their education on the right foot!
10. Can I have another job and still be in the program?
To be a Leap Year Fellow, you must be on-time and not miss any of our programming, so while we do not recommend it, you may have another job only if it does not interfere with your ability to come to Leap Year on-time, everyday.
11. Where does Leap Year meet and what is VOX?
Leap Year is housed inside VOX Teen Communications in downtown Atlanta (229 Peachtree St NE Atlanta GA 30303). VOX is a fantastic teen-lead organization focused on sharing teen voices and stories. Leap Year Fellows will often write articles and create videos for VOX to share on their website and in their newspaper.