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Admissions and the College Major

college admissions Jun 10, 2024

Six or seven years ago, I was having a sit down in the old office with my bootcamp student.  We'll call him Eddie (not his real name).

Eddie (still not his real name), his mom and I were discussing his college list, which was full of competitive colleges, including two or three Ivies.  Eddie was that type of student:  super high academic credentials and very, very strong, atypical extracurricular activities throughout his high school career.

We arrived at the topic of which college he wanted to apply Early Decision to (that's the binding one, although it's not truly binding.  That's a discussion for another day.).  Eddie had decided on Penn, which, according to our software, estimated his chances of acceptance at 50%.  Not bad.

"Hold on," I said.  "What's the latest thinking on what you'll major in?"  Eddie had been waffling between two.

"Computer Science," he said.  

"OK, that might change things a bit," I replied, plugging that last variable into our program.  "Let's re-run the Fit and Match Engine."

Not surprisingly, that change resulted in a new prediction of an approximately 33% shot at acceptance, because Computer Science and Engineering are usually the two hardest majors when it comes to college admissions. 

Admissions officers, and I, look at 20+ factors to evaluate a student's candidacy at a given college.  It's not only about GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Far from it.

Eddie's mom and I had each asked him whether he would consider applying as the other contemplated major, which was humanities-based, but Eddie, to his credit, concluded that if he couldn't attend Penn as a Computer Science major, he didn't want to go at all.  I appreciated his line in the sand, although I knew what the result would be.

The point of this tale is not that Eddie made the wrong choice.  I admire him for making the right choice, for him.

The lesson is that your intended college major matters from an admissions strategy perspective.  Some majors make it harder to get admitted, some easier.  There's a ton of variation from college to college.

Major selection is one of the key topics covered in this summer's Get College Ready Bootcamp.   We're shutting down registration in four days.  

You can enroll for a nifty 10% off scholarship (discount) by using the coupon code BOOT-10 or BOOT-10EZ for the 1-pay or 5 pay options, when you click on the blue button, below (just wait for the shopping cart to update).  

Just do it before the countdown clock expires...



You can attend in-person in our brand spanking new office, or virtually. .

- Andy "My Real Name" Lockwood

P.S. Sign up, and enjoy a hands-off summer, where your kiddo gets his apps and essays D-O-N-E and out the door.

No muss, no fuss.  No threatening, screaming or high blood pressure


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