Is It Bad to Put Undecided on a College Application?

We can’t tell you how many times we have been asked by our students if it is ok to put undecided on their applications to colleges. Our short answer to each one of them: No!

In reality, most students are undecided when it comes to picking a major. It’s perfectly OK to put undecided on the college application. At 15, 16, 17 years old, how are you supposed to know what you want to necessarily do with your life? After all, throughout high school you’ve been told what math to take, what science to take, what English to take, what history to take, your foreign language, etc. Your exposure to all the different majors that are out there for you to potentially delve into is untouched. And here’s a fact to note: 80% of students in college changed their major at least once while in college.

Life Is a Winding Road

Just because you’re going to major in something in college doesn’t mean that’s what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. Our founder, Liz, started out as a music major her freshman year, and in sophomore year changed to business. She has been in some sort of business her entire life, but in reality everything is really a business. Liz never imagined being a college counselor while she was in the large corporate world for over 20 years. Yet, here she is, an independent college admissions counselor running a thriving business.

Applying Undecided

So much of your life is ahead of you. You don’t know what’s in store or how your feelings will change. Putting undecided on a college application is completely fine. If you’re applying to a university undecided, then probably the school/college you would be applying to is Arts and Sciences or whatever that university may call it. You may decide upon a major in business or communications or fashion design or some fine art or even engineering. The world is your oyster!

For the most part, with all the different majors that you can select from, you should note that there are some schools where you apply undecided to their school of Arts and Sciences that it may be a little bit more difficult to get into. This is because typically there are so many students who apply to Arts and Sciences and therefore it may be a little more competitive. We haven’t found that to be the case at many schools, but there are definitely some, such as Penn State, where a vast majority of students apply to their school of Arts and Sciences, so it can be a little bit more difficult to get in there. However, the last thing you want to do is apply as a business or engineering major, if you’re really not sure that’s what you want to major in, which are typically the universities more selective majors.

We’re hoping this helps dispel the whole theory that putting undecided not on a college application is not something you should do. Remember there is an 80% you’re going to change your major at least once anyway.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students in person, through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.