Money Mentor



4 Benefits of Deciding Your Major Early


By Paige Holmes, Oklahoma University



While it's not necessary to pick a major before you head off for college, doing so can be beneficial to you. Here's a quick rundown of a few good things that happen when you decide your major before starting college.

1. You'll Narrow Your College Search

If you know what you want to study before applying to colleges, you can search for schools that are well-known for their programs in that specific field. Using this factor to narrow down your list of colleges will make it easier for you to choose which one to attend in the fall.

2. You Only Have to Worry about Your Homework

This might not sound like a benefit, but the college workload is definitely going to be a change from the homework you're used to in high school. If you've picked your major already, you won't have to meet with your advisor to discuss major options, and you won't have to "test the waters" and take a variety of different classes to see which degree appeals to you the most. I've known people that have had a difficult time balancing their homework time with all the time they spend choosing a major. If it's a hassle that can be avoided, it should be avoided.

3. All of Your Classes Will Count Toward Your Degree

As I mentioned before, the way most students decide what they want their major to be is to take a few classes in a few different areas to see what they like most. For example, you might take an introductory business class, a political science class and a communications class to see if any of those appeal to you. Unfortunately, depending on what your final major decision is, all those classes you took to figure out your degree might never actually count toward that degree. It's best to take classes that will count toward completing your degree, or you could run the risk of not graduating on time.

4. Scholarships

You might wonder what deciding your major has to do with scholarships, but if you've ever applied for any scholarships, you'll know that a good portion of them ask for your major, and many of them require it. There are only so many "general" scholarships out there, which are scholarships open to any student. Most of them, especially the scholarships that are available for undergraduate students, are only available to students of a certain major. Until you pick what your major is, many of these scholarships will not be available to you.

Celine Laruelle