Does Your Teen’s College Major Choice Matter In Admissions?     

By Beatrice Schultz (Westface College Planning) and Lisa Marker-Robbins (Flourish Coaching)

If you’re the parent of a college-bound teenager, you know all too well the mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with planning for college. The pressure to choose the right college and major, meet application deadlines, and ensure a bright future for your teen can be overwhelming. And the financial stakes can be high. For most families, paying for college is the single largest financial investment they will ever make in their teen. 

While there is absolutely a linear timeline for what to do when, there is also a more complex maze for your teen to select the right major which leads to choosing the right college. 

The Importance of the Right Major in College Admissions

Choosing a major is a pivotal decision in your teen’s college journey, one that can significantly impact their academic and career success. While there are more liberal arts colleges in the US than research universities, surprisingly, 71% of students attend public state universities where their college major choice will most often affect their admission. This means that understanding how different colleges handle admissions by major is crucial in selecting the right school for your teen.

The Untold Truth About Admissions by Major

Flourish Coaching’s research into the admissions policies of the 50 state public flagship universities has unveiled critical insights into the college admissions process. They’ve categorized these insights into three main areas:

Direct Admission: Colleges that admit students directly into their chosen major, highlighting the importance of this choice right from the start.

General Admission: Universities that admit students to the institution regardless of their intended major typically allow them to declare their major by the end of their sophomore year.

The Complicated Path: Institutions with a mix of policies, including direct admits, pre-majors, and impacted majors with limited capacity.

Interestingly, it was discovered that half of the colleges that take a General Admission approach and don’t admit by major still consider a student’s intended major in their admissions process to build a balanced class and manage enrollment across different fields.


Why This Matters

Understanding these policies can empower your family to make informed decisions, ensuring your teen applies to schools that best fit their interests and goals. It can also save time and money by reducing the likelihood of transferring schools or extending the college journey due to a change in major.

Commitment to College Admissions Transparency

Flourish Coaching believes in the power of transparency. We also feel that most colleges, whether intentional or not, are not fully transparent on how admission by major works. The message of your teen has time to figure it out later seems like a good message until you take a deeper dive on how this works college by college. 

In an effort to support families in making informed decisions, Flourish is sharing our findings with you for free. We want to equip you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the college planning process. 

We are also giving your student access to the exact email template we used to gather insights from colleges, allowing you to directly engage with admissions offices to determine this information for any of the 3500+ colleges and universities in the US. 

Taking the Next Step

The college admissions journey is a team effort, and both Westface College Planning and Flourish Coaching are here to guide you every step of the way. If you’ve ever felt uncertain about how to support your teen’s college and major decisions, our resources can help bridge that gap.

To access these invaluable resources and learn the “untold truth about college major-specific admissions,” visit here.

Embarking on this journey together, we’re committed to helping your family navigate the college planning process with clarity, strategy, and optimism. Let’s ensure your teen finds the perfect college match and is ready for a flourishing future.

Ready for your own success story?

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If you’re a typical parent with college-bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed. You want to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education. You’re not alone! We’re here to help. Schedule your free consultation today – click below to get started!

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