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Changing Your Major

Choosing a college major is a tricky business. The sheer number of majors available at a school could overwhelm anyone, let alone your average 18-year-old incoming freshman. That many college students change majors—an estimated 50 percent at one school, Pennsylvania State University—is not surprising. Here are some tips on ways parents and students can deal with a change in college major.

At every college we visited with Lindsey—six by my count—we were told how common it is for students to change majors at least once. That didn't surprise me. How many of us knew exactly what we wanted to do at 18 or 19 years of age? Still, it's different when it's your child calling home with doubts that he or she is in the right major. Here are some things for parents to consider when that phone call comes.

1. Be prepared: No matter how certain your high school student seems about his or her major while packing up for college, be prepared for a change of heart at some point. Being prepared will allow you to be supportive and offer up advice based on your experience in the world beyond academia. You can provide information and perspective to your student and allow him or her to explore options. More >

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