gap year programs
Although Gap Years have been around for a long time, America is just waking up to the trend. The fact we are already talking about this issue at the beginning of our formal association is indicative that we will achieve this diversity gap quicker than our formal academy friends.
And in case you're wondering if forgoing that year of work experience will "look bad" to future employers, the answer, at least for me, is "no." The key is to do something valuable with your time, and then highlighting this experience on your resume and during interviews.
To anyone contemplating taking a gap year: I cannot urge strongly enough that there is no better way to transform yourself from a lost high school kid who thinks they've got a clue, to a young adult who's starting to get the idea that cluelessness is a necessary part of life.
It doesn't have to cost a fortune.