Your student is about to graduate from high school, and she’s ready to head to college in the fall. Congratulations!
But wait! What if only part of that statement is true?
Your student may be about to graduate from high school, but that doesn’t automatically mean that she’s ready to head to college in the fall. Not all students mature and operate on the same timetable. Not all students have an immediate interest in college. More and more students and their parents are considering a postgrad or fifth year of high school to prepare for college.
What is a high school post grad year?
A postgrad year does not mean that your student simply stays in her high school a year longer. It is not a fifth year because your student has not done well and is not ready to graduate. A postgrad high school year is a specialized year of school for students who have already earned their high school diploma. It is most often a year of school spent at an independent high school with a specialized curriculum designed for the experience.
Postgrad experiences have been around for a long time. They have traditionally existed at New England prep schools for male athletes who need an extra year to improve athletically and to bolster grades. Recently, however, more schools offer postgrad experiences, more students are applying, including females and non-athletes. According to the Boarding School Review, as many as 146 schools now offer such programs. A few schools offer day programs as well.
A postgrad program serves as a transitional year for a student to experience living on his own, away from home. Programs are generally designed for academically strong, motivated students who want to experience new courses, challenges and personal growth. Programs are often competitive, and schools look for students who have demonstrated academic growth throughout their high school careers and who have demonstrated a positive trend. The postgrad year allows these students to build on their past experiences.