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May 05, 2016 06:36 AM EDT

Malia Obama To Attend Harvard In 2017 [UPDATE]; Gap Year Decision Boosts New Trend In American Education

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Malia Obama's decision to take a year break before pursuing college career overshadowed her entrance to the elite Harvard University. After gaining a place among the only 5.2 percent applicants Harvard admitted this year, one of the most selective admissions cycle, she's decided to attend college until 2017.

 "The President and Mrs. Obama announced today that their daughter Malia will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. Malia will take a gap year before beginning school," the New York Times Reported.

Gap Year is a popular option for high school seniors who are seeking experiences outside the classroom before they begin practicing a degree. Even admitted students are highly encouraged to do so. Gap years have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years but are still more popular in European students, according to the American Gap Association.

Many colleges, especially elite universities like Harvard, encourage students to take this new trend on rise in American educational system. Students can work, volunteer, travel or simply grow in maturity to know what they truly wanted to do in life so as to assess fitting courses to their interest, according to Institute of Education Science study.

Study Director Nina Hoe of the Institute for Survey Research of Temple University found out that people who took gap years were more centered in college education. They succeeded more by traditional and nontraditional measures in college.

However, some students are delaying either because they could not afford college or wanted to raise more study budget before attending college. A student who took a gap year worked to pay for the education without having to take out a loan, Nina Hoe added.

Meanwhile, Malia has not yet decided how she will spend her gap year before Harvard, the school both of her parents attended, The Washington Post Reported.

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