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College Talk Blog

College Myth #3

I like to look at college from a long term view. The view that ends with the successful graduation of the student. I help students choose colleges with that in mind. I am a strong believer that graduating on time is related to entering a college with a well-defined curriculum. Myth #3 is about college majors.

Students and parents tell me that they are advised not to worry about college major and that it is better to start college as an undeclared student because they have plenty of time to decide. The problem with this popular idea is that it can later cause a student to transfer to another college because the major the student "decides" he wants later may not be offered by the college he has entered. So it is a myth that it is better to enter college undeclared. Needing to transfer can cause the loss of a renewable scholarship offered by the admissions department of the college the student presently attends. Such scholarships are less likely as a transfer student.

The other related myth is that you can sneak into a major later. Some students enter a college as an undeclared student in order to avoid being denied admission to the college if they declared a specific program. The problem with entering a college with plans to later enter a major for which you feel would get you rejected for admission is that it is likely that you will be denied entry into the program after entering the college. It is much better to enter a college and know that you are going to be highly likely to be accepted into your preferred program.

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