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Boise State offers inaugural Bronco Gap Year program

For the first time, and in response to an unprecedented era in public education, Boise State will offer a program designed for students who are not quite ready to commit to college.

Bronco Gap Year will let students explore their interests in an individualized way and earn Boise State credits at a reduced cost without formally enrolling in the university. It launches this fall.

“These are challenging and uncertain times for all of us, and we understand that some students may, for many reasons, feel this isn’t the right time to launch a traditional college experience,” said Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State president. “We also know how important it is for those students to explore all that a university education can offer them. This may be an ideal time for that exploration. We are excited to provide students a new pathway to becoming Broncos.”

Students in the Bronco Gap Year program will choose one of four pathways:

  • Changemakers: Social Impact and Entrepreneurship designed by the Venture College;
  • Life-Changing: Leading, Learning, Looking to the Future designed by the College of Education;
  • Build Your Own: Find Your Purpose, Create Your Plan designed by the College of Arts and Sciences;
  • World-Changing: Politics, Policy, Public Service designed by the School of Public Service.

Each pathway will offer a mix of experiences, from internships, to job-shadowing, to teaching and entrepreneurial opportunities. In addition, students will have access to any class through Coursera, the world’s largest online learning program. When students successfully complete their pathway, they will receive three Boise State credits. Completed Coursera courses and pathway projects can also be reviewed for additional credit.

The Bronco Gap Year offers a unique support system. Upon enrolling, each student will be paired with a Boise State faculty mentor and a current Boise State student mentor who will act as advisors. Those enrolled in the gap year program also will meet fellow students through a vibrant online community. The program is open to anyone, but is targeted to first-year students and current students who want to stay connected to the university but need a break from their studies to save money, care for family, or reassess their academic goals.

The Bronco Gap Year fee for the fall 2020 semester is $750. The fee for the combined fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters is $1,250.

Advising for students and their families is available. Some scholarships are available for Idaho students. For program dates, deadlines and enrollment information, visit:

In the news:

A recent story in Forbes Magazine, New York Fed Researchers Wrong About Gap Years, included Bronco Gap Year.

KIVI, Channel 6, aired a feature on the program: