•This programs sounds great! What does it cost?
The full cost of the 14 week Fall 2017 Semester is $16,740.00. We do allow for a rolling admission if space permits; for students who enter after the start date, a reduced fee will be calculated. We offer several different payment plans and are open to working with a student and his/her family to arrive at a payment plan which makes sense for all parties.
Part-time options to engage in Semester Off are available, as well, and appropriate pricing will be computed based on the particular needs of the student and his/her engagement with Semester Off.
In addition, Semester Off is able to offer a reduced rate for specific students with demonstrated financial need. We would be happy to discuss these details during the admissions process.
•Which students are eligible to participate in Semester Off?
Any student who is 18 years or older at the start of the Semester Off experience is eligible for participation in the program regardless of where he/she has attended college and where his/her family resides. Semester Off can accommodate recent high school graduates as well as college students.
We accept students who attend Boston-area colleges and universities as well as those who attend school elsewhere. For those who do not live in the Boston area, Semester Off can assist in matching students with appropriate local housing options.
•Do you ever deny admission to a prospective student?
Yes, a prospective student may be denied admission. For this program to be successful, it is essential that there be rightness of fit between the student and the program. One of the purposes of the initial meetings with our staff is to determine whether or not this chemistry exists. Students must understand our program, our philosophy, and our methods and be ready to make the commitment necessary to attend our program with an open mind. For this reason, a student’s motivation for self-improvement is a key criteria that we use in making admissions decisions. In some cases, a student may be sufficiently impaired, and Semester Off may not be able to accommodate him/her safely or effectively. In these cases, we try to steer the student towards other programs or services which may be more appropriate.
•Do you offer mental health services?
No. Semester Off is an educational enrichment program.
•What happens if a student requires mental health services?
Since many of our staff have training in the assessment and delivery of mental health care, we are well-attuned to the mental health needs of our students. We may recommend that a student pursue any of the following: individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, psychopharmacology evaluation, neuropsychology testing, consultation with learning specialists, and follow-up career counseling. We will make specific referrals to professionals in each of the above specialties who practice independently of Semester Off.
It is worth mentioning that the clinical background of our staff is of high value because they can communicate with other clinicians using a common language and nosology. This may include communicating with clinicians in the student health center from a student’s home college/university (with the student’s permission, of course).
•How is the Semester Off experience customized for the individual student?
The curriculum is primarily geared towards fostering the group experience and decreasing the isolation our students may feel during their semester leave of absence. That said, there are certain aspects of the full-time program which are personalized for the particular student and his/her interests and goals. The Community Service component (4 hours per week) is selected by the student based on a list of possibilities which our staff has compiled, and it takes place off premises. Our staff is in regular communication with a contact person involved with the Community Service placement to ensure proper attendance and monitor that the goals of the experience are being met.
In addition, if a student is comfortably managing the Semester Off curriculum, then we work with the student to help select an appropriate college course at a nearby or online school and/or apply for a job.
A part-time curriculum can also be developed for specific students for whom the full-time curriculum is less appropriate.
•How are parents involved in the Semester Off program?
We recognize that parents may also have a difficult time watching their son or daughter struggle during this time away from school, and we want to support them, as well. Parents are assigned a family liaison who checks in with them throughout the semester, and parents are encouraged to voice any concerns to their liaison at any time.
•What happens if a student decides not to re-matriculate at the college or university from where he/she came?
While many students will return to their home college or university, others may realize that they would be happier elsewhere. As we get to know the student over the course of the semester, we will offer college choice assistance to help match him/her with an appropriate postsecondary institution. In consultation with a career counselor, we may ultimately recommend that a student not re-enroll in college if his/her particular profile warrants an alternative route.
•How do you help students in the re-matriculation process?
Many schools have specific protocols in place for re-accepting students who have taken time away, particularly those students on a medical leave of absence. Throughout the Semester Off experience, we work with each student to complete the steps required for re-matriculation. As necessary, we draft letters in support of a student’s re-matriculation in which we describe the Semester Off curriculum, the student’s level of engagement and improvement, and our assessment of the student’s chances of success upon return.
•What if I have other questions which were not addressed on the website?
Please contact us by phone or by email!