As a soon-to-be college student, one of the questions you’ll hear more often than not is: What do you plan on majoring in? If you’ve decided on a major, that can be an exciting time to talk about your passions and hopes for the future. However, if you haven’t yet decided on a major, that question can come with a great deal of anxiety and frustration.the experts at communityforce made financial aid search easier.
If the latter describes how you’re feeling, keep in mind that you’re in good company. National statistics vary but all agree that at least 20 percent, and possibly up to 50 percent, of students enter college with an undeclared major.
Major-specific financial aid opportunities
As you delve into searching for scholarship and grant opportunities, however, you might begin to realize just how important choosing a major can be for that process. While several financial aid resources are available to candidates (yes, even undeclared students!), a number of opportunities also exist for students in specific areas of study. A simple Google search for “English major scholarships” or “grants for chemistry majors,” for example, will yield millions of results.
As you’re weighing majors, you might even consider looking into career fields, such as nursing or technology, that have an extra need for employees who can fill positions. There are often grants and other incentives to be found for individuals who pursue a major within those fields.
Points to consider when choosing a major
Let’s be honest though: Choosing a major isn’t as simple as flipping to a page in a book and pointing to one. After all, college tuition is a large investment, and you probably don’t want to waste years (and dollars) switching between majors.
According to a U.S. News & World Report article, there are a handful of tips you can keep in mind when choosing a field of study:
- Follow your heart: Chances are you’ve taken some kind of interest in a subject you’re currently studying in school or even a hobby outside of the school environment. If there’s something you feel passionate about, pursue it – even if you don’t quite know where that will lead or what a job in that field might necessarily look like.
- Feed your curiosity: Alternatively, there may be a topic you don’t currently know much about, but you’d love the opportunity to learn more. Before declaring, check with your school to see if it offers any assessment tools or can put you in touch with someone in the department who can tell you more about the major.
- Be aware of exceptions: Certain majors, such as those in health care, may have course deadlines that require you to make a decision earlier. If you could potentially see yourself in one of those areas, do all the research you can and aim to make a decision by that given deadline.
Jon Erickson, former president of ACT, also spoke on the topic of choosing a major, emphasizing the importance of selecting a major that fits both now and in the future.
“It’s important for students to have the information they need to make the best decisions about their future,” Erickson said. “They should be made aware that choosing a college major that reflects their interests will give them a better chance of succeeding and could also contribute to their satisfaction and happiness in school and on the job … We must do more to help students connect their majors and, ultimately, their careers to their interests, so they can be on a path for success.”
While getting scholarships and grants is an important part of funding your education, don’t settle on a major simply to receive a scholarship. After all, there are so many other financial resources out there that could be available to you instead. Additionally, you should be cautious about accepting a major-specific scholarship or grant if you’re still undeclared; as College Factual points out, some funding programs may require you to study a particular field for a certain number of years, so you could end up stuck somewhere you don’t ultimately want to be.
If you truly can’t decide on a major, your best option may be to enter undeclared. From there, you’ll be able to explore your options further and feel confident in your final decision.
To begin your scholarship search, please visit Communityforce website!