I completely agree with Dr. Laura. Some teenagers lack the discipline to take a gap year. They'll get comfortable and too lazy to want to sign up for college. But it will be just fine for those who are disciplined.
If parents force their kids into college right after high school, those same kids (the ones who aren't disciplined) may drop out because they lack the maturity and drive to stick to it. It worked for me to have a "gap semester" between high school and college. It wasn't a full year. It was just a little breather because high school is harder now than it was for us (I know because I teach it). It can be overwhelming to just go straight to college after all the hard work senior year. Breaks do help prevent burn-out. A teenager has to be emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility of balancing a job, school, and study habits with the general running of every day life.
I would just encourage a semester off. That should help. That way if they lack discipline, it's not too long of a time to get too comfortable and not want to go back. It worked for me. I successfully graduated college and am a teacher.
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