A teen’s first step to getting into college is applying to multiple schools that they think would benefit them. Desirable features of a school may include location, class size, and graduation rate. Students may then give some thought to what majors the school offers. However, many teens don’t identify a major on the application and wait until they start college to choose.

Unfortunately, marking as undecided on a college application can put your teen at a significant disadvantage. Getting into college is becoming more and more competitive. Most applicants have excellent grades, awards, and various extracurricular activities on their resume. How can the college differentiate the students who are applying?

What will set your teen apart from all the other college applicants?

Many college admissions look to see if the applicant has declared a major. They want to ensure the student has put some thought into their career aspirations. They may also check if the teen’s extracurricular activities match up with their chosen major and career.

My friend’s daughter, Kim, wants to be a marine biologist and regularly volunteers at the Georgia Aquarium. Kim even gets to do the “behind the scenes” tasks. She has a tremendous competitive advantage over the applicants who are undecided. If a student wants to major in computer science, they might want to get involved in robotics. Or a teen interested in becoming a veterinarian should consider volunteering with a pet rescue organization.

Another issue with applying as undecided is that once the student chooses a major, they may not get into their school’s program. Many majors, like engineering, are highly competitive and challenging to get accepted. The student may not get in right away and have to wait another year to apply. This means more time in school and more tuition costs.

Is your high school student undecided on their major? Set up a complimentary strategy session with me, and we can look at ways to get your teen from undecided to declared.