WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Many of us can only dream of a year off from work, but for some future college students, it's becoming quite the reality.
The latest and most famous example is within the first family. On Sunday, the White House announced that Malia Obama, the President's oldest daughter, would be taking a gap year before attending Harvard University in 2017.
Taking a gap year is becoming an increasingly popular option for thousands of would-be college students. In fact, at least one study has shown that students who take a gap year do better academically than their non-gap year peers.
As of now, all 8 Ivy League schools currently support the idea for incoming freshmen.
But not everybody is falling into the gap year mentality. Critics of the trend point out that the average family can't afford the financial burden of an official gap year program; some international programs can run upwards of $35,000.
Although not every program requires money: AmeriCorps initiative called City Year actually pays students a stipend to teach.
Plus, there's always the more traditional route of finding a paid internship or job for the first half of a gap year then using the second half to either travel or enjoy other interests.
The American Gap Association reports that students taking a gap year has been on the rise for a decade, so it looks like Malia will have plenty of company for her year off.