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Loyola launches first-year program that allows students to take a “Gap Year, Without the Gap”

Humanities Building

Loyola University Maryland announced the launch of a unique "gap year without the gap" program that allows students to spend their first year of college abroad while still earning credits and graduating on time. Developed in collaboration with Verto Education, the program enables students to see the world and earn general education credits before continuing their studies on campus at Loyola.

“We know many high school students are rethinking their college plans in light of the pandemic,” said Eric Nichols, vice president for enrollment management. “Our new program allows high schoolers of the Class of 2021 to expand their worldview and experience life from a different perspective without sacrificing academic rigor and progress toward a degree. True to the Jesuit tradition, this new partnership with Verto Education reflects our commitment to providing students with meaningful, eye-opening experiences that prepare them for a balanced, flourishing, and purposeful life.”

Unlike a gap year, students who participate in the first-year program will earn 12-15 credits per semester that transfer seamlessly to Loyola after their first semester or first year. The program’s coursework is structured around small class sizes and designed to foster cultural immersion. The most popular courses include World Literature and International Business in London; European History and Spanish Economics in Madrid; Environmental Science in Latin America; and Cultural Anthropology in the South Pacific.

“After a year of such turmoil, we’re proud to offer the Class of 2021 a unique opportunity that fosters their personal growth, both emotionally and academically, through small class sizes and dedicated faculty,” said Mitch Gordon, president and co-founder of Verto Education. “Loyola is innovating the way we typically consider a first-year experience in the midst of an atypical year.”

Students who are interested in spending their first year abroad should apply directly to Verto Education and select Loyola University Maryland as the partner college for admission.

About Verto Education

Verto Education allows students to take a “gap year without the gap” by earning their first semester of college credit while exploring the world in places like New Zealand, Spain, and Costa Rica. When they return recharged and ready, students can transfer their new knowledge, skills, and credits to more than 50 of Verto’s public and private partner universities. Verto helps students start college confident and prepared through life-changing experiences that don’t come at the expense of graduating in four years.