If you feel out of place at college, you might find yourself wondering: Should I change my major?
Neglect to answer that question and you could be stuck with an undergraduate degree in a field that ultimately doesn’t suit you.
Here are some telltale signs that you may have picked the wrong course of study, and how to know if changing majors is a smart decision.
Should I change my major? 6 signs you should consider it
1. You’re always bored in class
2. Your grades are suffering
3. You picked your major without much thought
4. You chose your major for the money
5. You can’t stand your professors
6. Other majors sound more appealing to you
No college class is going to wow you all the time, but if the coursework in your major consistently fails to interest you, you may have picked the wrong major.
One simple explanation for being bored in class could be that you have a short attention span or aren’t concentrating enough. But you should have some level of interest or excitement for the classes and material you’re taking.
You should also be stressed out at least some of the time; it shows that you’re willing to embrace and tackle the challenges of your major without giving up. But if these elements are missing and you hate getting up every day to go to class, it might mean that you and your major aren’t a good match.
Getting A’s and B’s across the board is a mean feat no matter what your major is. But if a pattern of C’s and D’s begins to emerge, there’s likely a direct reason why you’re not doing well.
Maybe you’re not studying hard enough come exam time or you’re phoning in your homework assignments. However, if you feel like you’re honestly giving it your best college try but your classes are just too challenging, your academic talents may be better expressed with a different major.
If you’re still undeclared while everyone else has got the ball rolling on their majors, you may feel the need to hurry up and pick something. Or maybe your parents, peers or a professor have talked you into majoring in what they think is best for you rather than what you want.
Whatever the case may be, if you can’t explain or justify why you chose your major, there’s a good chance you don’t have a real passion for what you’re studying.
If you chose your major solely because it’ll help you land a well-paying job, you may need to adjust your priorities. While it’s always a wise decision to major in something that will provide you with plenty of career opportunities and a decent income, majoring in something only because it will pay well isn’t a recipe for success.
Chances are you’ll get exactly what you want after graduating — a high-paying job, albeit one you’re not interested in or passionate about. Instead, you might consider even the worst-paying majors — if choosing one could lead to a more fulfilling career.
No matter your major, you won’t get along with every single professor. Some teachers place different standards on their students and have unique instruction or lecture styles that might not align with yours.
But if you’re not on the same page with any of your profs in your major course of study — the very teachers you should have a good rapport with — then it may be a sign you’re in the wrong major. Your professors should be your mentors, and you should be communicating, rather than clashing, with them.
When you don’t share the same enthusiasm for the subject matter that your classmates have, you might be in the wrong place. Moreover, if you find yourself envious of other students who are excited about what they’re majoring in, it might be time to think about changing paths, perhaps to majors that lead to student loan forgiveness.
If you can imagine yourself succeeding and excelling in another major — any major — different than yours, see it for what it is: a big clue that it’s time to start studying something else.
Should I change my major?
Changing majors depends on a lot of factors, not just the ones we’ve listed above.
First, consider your costs to attend college. How much tuition have you already paid? How many student loans have you already taken out? Switching majors can be relatively affordable in the right circumstances, but delay too long and you could incur more debt if you start your new curriculum from scratch. Majors that require more borrowing could cripple your future finances.
If you’re considering changing majors, arrange a time to meet and talk with your professors or your academic advisor. They can help you determine which course of study might be a better fit for you in the long run.
Paul Sisolak contributed to this report.
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1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of December 1, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/13/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.97% to 8.54% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.