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Want to Switch Majors? | That Can Lead to More College Debt

5 college-majorsWhat is a College Major?

College majors are basically subjects of study.

They are also known as concentrations. It involves a specific and specialised academic discipline that the student would like to concentrate on.

Most often than not, one-third of the courses taken in college is related to the Major. Some colleges permit two majors or a major and a minor. You could even have a choice of creating your own major.

When should you choose your major?

Majors need not be picked until before the end of sophomore year. A two-year degree will warrant an earlier start.

It is a crucial decision and must not be hurried into. The time taken for the process of deciding your major will be worth it. This is laying the foundation for the future.

Can you change your mind later?

Many students change the major during college. This includes students who are sure about their majors too. Switching majors is no longer an isolated incident. It is fine if the major is not picked well in advance.

How should you choose your major?

A Major ought to be picked based on passion as well as viability. The idea is to pick a subject or a course that is related the future field. Many majors can help you pick a range of careers once graduated. Picking a major need not be the same as picking a job. An English literature degree could lead to a career in any field from teaching to journalism.

Why do students switch majors?

Students tend to switch Majors when they realise that the current major is not something they are really passionate about. Seeing as it not only decides the career path but also income, it is vital to pick the right change and well in time at that.

Some switch majors depending on the job market and the viability of the course. Some of these students might not have had the luxury of a career counsellor or academic advisor. Some start college because their parents and loved ones picked it out for them.

Lack of understanding and lack of encouragement to explore makes students pick majors that they might not like later. Financial stability is one of the key factors that make students switch majors later.

Avoid picking the skills as the major. That could be the easy way out but one might get bored of majoring in something they are already very good at and know inside out. Studying something you are an expert at, say for example piano, might make you change your mind when you could realise that there is nothing new to gain. Exploring outside the comfort zone could be the key as well.

What are the students thinking a process like?

According to research, an estimate of twenty to fifty percent of the students enters college registering as ‘undecided’. Close to 75 % of the students later change their major at least once before they graduate. Choosing a major is hard even for the ones that have decided their major and their course.

When students are asked to explain why they pick their major, the reasons include

  • Family and peer pressure
  • Passion
  • Financial reasons
  • Trend analysis

In the first year, the students are not mentally developed to understand their choices or their own identity.

What is the US academic system like?

You will be able to tailor work your course based on your personal academic interests, goals, and needs. There are a wide variety of choices available that enables a student to look beyond the obvious. The freedom to pick and decide which course will suit you is a good quality.

5 libraryWhat are your options?

Your first major most probably will not be your last. Exploring your options and experimenting is what will make you figure out different majors. Prerequisites for new majors have to be considered. Some colleges have the option of letting you pick three majors by declaring ‘undecided’. ‘Exploratory’ has been declared as an official status for students before picking one course in the end.

Close to 61 percent of the students, according to research, switch their majors by the end of the second year. Three exploratory tracks are provided in some colleges in order to enable them to make the right decision. Check the schools in order to explore and see where one can fit in.

Keep your pool of choices while looking out for other different majors that could keep your interest. What would provide a fulfilling experience could be what you have never done before.

A wise man once said – “Do not do what you love. Instead, do what you are”. If you could find a job that you would do for free, then there is really nothing like it.

If there are interests in more than one field, a student could consider completing more than one minor program.

What are the consequences of switching majors?

Picking the right major takes its own sweet time. Changing majors is a big event and has positive and negative consequences.

  • Loss of valuable time – Some majors, in comparison to others, demand more hours of credit. They could also come with more prerequisite courses. Signing up for prerequisite classes could save some time. Switching majors too far into the course takes it longer for them to graduate. A different major would mean elongated study time.

All prerequisite courses ought to be completed before declaring the major.

  • More College Debt – The major that was declared in the sophomore year need not be the one that was graduated in. Switching majors lead to loss of credits and possibly loss of funds. It could also mean the loss of scholarship in cases applicable. College debt crisis cannot be avoided in such situations. This is because additional tuition fees are incurred.
  • Time is precious – There are some cases wherein changing majors too late in the game can make it harder for the student to graduate on time. The resulting strain on the bank account is higher, the later the decision is made. Some schools mandate students to declare the major earlier in the day to avoid such a price. This applies especially to engineering, science, and mathematics.
  • Switching within the field could be easier as some courses might overlap. Switching between fields has a heavier price. The cost per credit is also higher.
  • Depending on which field, it could feel like all the time and effort put in the previous major is a complete waste.

For some students, the extra time and money can be worth the effort. Students are enabled with a work visa that could allow them to work part-time and earn a little extra to fund the course. The work permit visa for foreign students in the USA can also be sorted out. It could also help build a really good portfolio and apply for leadership positions on the campus publications.

What is the process of switching majors?

The process of changing majors is a very crucial and important one. It generally originates from the fact that the current major being pursued is not as good or viable. The career path chosen will involve a lot of the major. Hence

  • Switching majors within the same college should be approved by the advisor of the current major along with the seal of the dean. This could vary from college to college.
  • Additional steps are required when there is a new college involved.
  • Declaration of multiple majors requires the approval of the advisors of all the majors involved.
  • If the area of interest is not already present, students have the opportunity to design a new and individual major. The request form has to be taken directly to the Dean’s office.

What is student debt?

A student debt is the form of debt that is owed by the student (graduated / attending / withdrawn) to a lending institution. In the case of default, the debt is turned over to the collection agency or student loan guarantor. The college debt crisis is a lot worse than it looks. Many colleges are going through tough financial straits. Rising costs and declining enrollments have serious consequences.

The non-completers are dropping out of the college burdened with huge amounts of college debt without the salary gains that could be received on completion of the degree.

5 choosing a major for collegeHow much loan is too much?

Tuition fees, boarding charges and other miscellaneous expenses are not a joke. They will eventually stand as a roadblock between the student and the dream college. This makes the dream college unattainable. The tendency is to always borrow as little as possible, as slow as possible because the future is never sure.

A good decision factor would be to state that the total college debt must be less than the annual starting salary. The trick is to more or less know all the costs involved. Apart from the standard fixed costs of tuition, boarding, and food, there are also other costs such as transportation, entertainment and campus life. School supplies cost a bomb as well.

What is the cost of severe college debt?

There are serious consequences to too much loan. It will most definitely impact life events such as buying a house, getting married and having children.

What are the different types of loans available to students?

  • Federal Student Loan – These loans are cheaper. They have better repayment terms. These Federal student loans also consist of public service forgiveness. The fixed rate is a big advantage too. The student credit history is not looked into in order to qualify for a Federal student loan.
  • Private Student Loans – These loans come with fixed as well as variable rates. Private student loans look for adverse credit history, not the future ability to repay the loans. An excellent credit history can avail a student a better rate.

Institution loans


They are offered by the college being attended



State Loans


They are offered by the student’s home state




Consolidation Loans


This loan is a combination of parent loans and federal student loans that are availed from a single lender



Parent Loan


The parents are responsible for this loan




Perkins loan


In this loan, the lender is the educational institution


How to calculate

There are various links on the internet that will help you calculate student loans and budgets. For example, http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/smart-spending/college-student-budget-calculator.aspx provides a student budget calculator that analyzes the budget full time. This calculator enables and aids the student in understanding the possible income and expenses that will incur during their course of education.


College debt facts

  • The college debt facts are staggering and quite depressing at that.
  • The current student loan is calculated at 1.2 trillion and climbing steadily. They are accruing at a rate of 3000 dollars per second.
  • A very high percentage of 65 do not even understand the terms and conditions of their loans.
  • 15 percent of the student loans are being held privately.
  • The American government can embellish wages and withhold the tax refunds in order to satisfy the unpaid student debts.
  • 37 percent of the students have outstanding loan balances.
  • The student loans (private) are passed on to the family in case of death.


What are some college debt solutions?

It will take a lot of sacrifice on the student’s part but it is necessary and fairly prudent to follow. A good way to get rid of the college debts and avoid college debt crisis is to pay off the loans as soon as possible.

  • Make bigger payments
  • Bigger sacrifices today will enable bigger fruits tomorrow
  • Delay large buys and purchases
  • Calculate your means and learn to live below.
  • Try to earn part time for that extra little bit of income.

It is practical not to assume that someone else will pay off your loan for you. The sooner it is taken care of the better life ahead will look.

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