3 Ways to Help Your College Scholar Declare a Major

Posted on Posted in Blog, College Bound Tips

3 Ways to Help Your College Scholar Declare a Major

Has your child ever started something, got into the middle of it and then later said...’Ummm, I don't think I want to do that anymore?’  Our oldest has had the time to change her mind once or twice on a few things. First she thought she wanted to run, so we I signed her up for track. Well, the southern stifling heat put an end to that dream. Then she wanted to play tennis. Two summer camps later and she's yet to join a team…or practice...or watch a tennis match.  Thankfully, she has found her niche in music.  It took some time but she's stuck with it – and now we are too.
I expect that our oldest will go back and forth like this when it's time for her to choose a major in college.  Given my own college track record and karma it’s inevitable that at least one of my three will enter college with not too many clues on what they ‘want to be when they grow up’.  It’s really not a big deal I suppose. Most colleges understand the young adult brain and don’t require students to declare a major until sometime in their sophomore year.
A recent report on college students and declaring a major, released by ACT, found that:
  • 49% of all second-year college students from the high school graduating class of 2013 declared a major in the same area as the major that they had planned to enter when they registered for the ACT
  • 41% of two-year college students declared a major that was consistent with their plans, as compared to 50% of four-year college students.
It looks like we may have a 50/50 chance that our oldest will change her major, depending of course on the major she chooses and whether or not our oldest feels ‘very sure’ about her choice.  Either way whatever she chooses we hope to keep her ’Ummm, I don't think I want to do that anymore?’  down to a minimum.



What to do?  Bank on time.  Most youth have lots of it.  Your college scholar can use their undeclared major time to:

  • Take a career interest inventory (here’s a free version).
  • Take a variety of classes.  - …After they have fulfilled their core class requirements of course. But look into those electives and seek out classes that may seem to lead to 'nowhere' but your college genius find of interest, i.e. African American Studies, Religious Studies, and History of Reggae in the music department.
  • Take classes of interest in the summer if that is they are not already signed up for a wonderful learning experience in an internship.


How will/did you help your college scholar declare a major?


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