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Freshman applicants should be undeclared while applying to college

Sania Gali

As college acceptance rates continue to plummet, the overall competitiveness of college admissions continues to increase. Every year, the University of California system receives over 210,840 freshmen applications from high school students with an enrollment rate of 88,000 according to Every year, thousands of those applicants choose a major that can dictate their life for the next four years and beyond.

Many colleges often demand students to choose a major when applying, often forcing high school seniors to decide their career paths in the beginning of their senior year of high school. This places a great amount of pressure and stress on students who are still deciding on their potential career paths, as well as forcing a premature decision from high school students. 

Another flaw in the application system is that many freshman applicants may choose unpopular majors or majors that aren’t centered around their interests with the hopes of just landing a seat at a prestigious university, assuming they can simply transfer majors later. However, transferring majors can be quite a difficult feat because spots open up junior year depending on the amount of kids that dropped from that desired major. Furthermore universities even restrict the amount of internal transfers, making it difficult for students to stay at the same universities while switching majors.  

Instead, universities such as the University of Chicago don’t allow freshman applicants to declare a major until the spring quarter of their freshman year. This gives students  ample time to decide what areas of study and career paths they want to pursue. It can lead to students taking classes they might not have taken if they were already confined to a major and exploring new subjects. It can take a little stress off the high school seniors applying and ensure that students still have opportunities to discover their interests.

Having freshman applicants be undeclared is also financially better for those applicants because each major has certain credit requirements. Switching or dropping majors will inevitably lead to students spending more money on courses they won’t need or could possibly even delay their graduating year. With student debt at an all time high and the average Californian owing around $37, 211 according to, colleges have the responsibility to ensure the financial success of their students.

Universities declaring all freshmen as undeclared majors permits students to explore different career paths without being confined to one specific area of study. It takes off the pressure in an already stressful time for 17 and 18 year-olds- at the end of the four years, it leaves them in a more financially secure state with a successful academic future.

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About the Contributor
Sania Gali
Sania Gali, Co-Web-Editor-In Chief,News Section Editor
My name is Sania Gali and I am the Co-Web-Editor in Chief and the News Section Editor for The Arrow. I love journalism because of the exciting stories we write at the Arrow as well as being able to inform the community on important issues. This is my second year on the staff and some of my hobbies are reading classical literature, watching the Office, and being outdoors with my dog Misty. 
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