Perhaps following a grand British tradition, Princeton University hopes to offer a "bridge year" (otherwise known as a "gap year") to all incoming freshmen, allowing them to defer enrollment for a year so that they can go abroad, the Daily Princetonian reports.
The proposed bridge program would go beyond the traditional study-abroad format—typically employed by upperclassmen—and encourage new students to spend time doing community service in a foreign country. "The purpose of the bridge program would not be 'study abroad' but 'service abroad,' " said one of the officials involved with the project. "Students would be expected to engage in public service during their year abroad."
Although development is still in progress, the school aims to make the program accessible "across a broad socioeconomic stratum of society." The university would provide administrative help and financial aid to interested students (even those not otherwise eligible for aid), and the program would most likely be need-blind and tuition free.
Students would not be required to speak a foreign language to apply, and the trip would be run by established partners of the school or other organizations that meet the program's criteria. The course's final details will be announced in early summer.