In this blog, we will discuss choosing a major and strengthening your college application.

At Cultivate, we have identified the values that best help students prepare for the college admissions process. The “Cultiv8” (intentionality, reflection, open-mindedness, resilience, expression, engagement, balance, and confidence) are 8 critical values we encourage all students to hold closely while they are applying to schools.

When preparing to apply to college, choosing a major will require close attention to two of these values in particular: intentionality and engagement. Being intentional about engaging in classes, extracurricular activities, and internships/experiences that are aligned with your potential major is very important. If a college sees evidence that backs up a student’s decision to apply with a certain major, their odds of acceptance are far greater.

While some colleges don’t take major choice into account during the admissions process, most colleges do, especially the more selective ones. So while strategizing about which major you would like to pursue, try to keep in mind that your application should support your major choice. Classes excelled in and/or taken at higher levels can make excellent predictors for major choice and increase chances of acceptance. In addition, test scores can also provide guidance in this realm (1). Colleges want to see that you are intentional about the classes you’ve taken and that you can succeed in the subjects you plan on studying in college. This also demonstrates to colleges you are committed to the field of study you wish to pursue.

While engaging in classes that connect you to your intended major can be a huge plus for your application, there are other important things to include as well. Participating in clubs, jobs, internships, community service, or other extracurriculars can be of equal or greater impact. In college admissions, it’s key to show colleges what sets you apart and makes you a stronger applicant compared to your peers. Taking part in activities that pertain to what you’d like to study demonstrates intention and commitment, showing colleges you are prepared and dedicated to the field you are pursuing. This can be a huge edge! Thousands of students will apply to study business in college this year, but how many of them have actually dipped their toes into this industry?

By finding opportunities to explore business (or the major you intend to study), you are telling colleges that you are confident and familiar with the topics you are planning to commit four years to. By engaging in these field-specific activities, you are demonstrating that you are willing to go the extra mile to immerse yourself in the education that you pursue. Finding these extracurriculars can be challenging, but the coaches at Cultivate are here to help! Whether you need help finding activities to participate in or narrowing down your major choice, we are here to make this journey smooth and successful.