Taking a gap year

Since Malia Obama announced she was taking a gap year, it seems to be a trending topic. It's something that 21-year-old Josh Ruttenberg knows something about. After he graduated from Hastings High School in Westchester County in 2013, he waited a year before going to college.

Josh and his parents found the right program for him. He did two internships during his gap year: one at a company that makes historical documentaries and another at an art gallery.

Josh says the time away from school between high school and college also helped him grow up and become more independent.

If you're considering taking a gap year, educators say you have to use that time wisely in a highly structured environment.

Dr. Sherryl Browne Graves is the acting senior associate dean at Hunter. She says you should have clear goals during your gap year. Graves also points out that taking a gap year is not an option for most students because of finances. Graves says many parents are also concerned that if their child delays college they might get distracted and never go.

Whatever your choice, educators say you have to do what's best for you and your family.