The student can then turn around to some great companies and say "I got into X university, but am thinking of waiting a semester and want to learn a bit about your business. Would you be open to some sort of internship?"
I don't know if that is the correct solution though. Much of what I learned came from being at school, but not necessarily the classroom. I learned a ton about alcohol and drugs and sex and other things that simply being in an environment with so many of my peers produced. Additionally, I'm a designer. If I weren't an editor for the school paper, I'd never have picked up a copy of creative suite and probably would be working a miserable corporate job somewhere otherwise.