Some students choose to take a postgraduate or PG year after completing 12th grade. Students can take this year at their own private school or at another school. Many students attend a boarding school just for their postgraduate year, as boarding school allows these students to experience life away from home while still having the requisite structure and guidance from teachers and advisors. Here are some reasons students can benefit from a PG year:
It’s not news that students at both public and private four-year colleges are taking longer than ever to graduate from college. In fact, according to the ACT, only about half of all students graduate from four-year colleges within five years. In addition, also according to the ACT, about one-quarter of students at four-year colleges drop out and don’t return to school. Part of the reason for this high drop-out rate is that students don’t arrive on campus ready for independent college life. A PG year allows students to develop maturity by living on their own in a structured environment. While students at boarding schools must advocate for themselves and take responsibility for their work without their parents’ constant guidance, they have advisors and teachers who help them structure their time and who help them when needed.
Better chances for college acceptance.
While parents are often afraid that students who defer going to college for a year are fated never to go, the colleges themselves prefer to accept students after a so-called “gap year.” Colleges find that students who travel or work before college are more committed and focused when they arrive on campus. While a PG year isn’t technically the same as a gap year, it can also help students have an additional year of experience, and it can help them be more attractive to colleges.
Better academic skills.
Many students who go on to be great college students simply don’t come into their own until later in high school. The later developmental curve tends to be particularly true of boys. They simply need one more year to build their academic skills when their minds are better able to learn and improve. Students who have learning disabilities may derive particular benefit from a PG year, as they may need time to assimilate new skills and improve their ability to advocate for themselves before confronting the independent world of college. A PG year at a boarding school will allow these types of students the ability to advocate for themselves in the supportive world of a high school, in which there are deans and teachers looking out for them, before being expected to do most of this work completely on their own in college. Read more about learning disabilities at college.