What high school students think they want to study in college doesn’t always match their interests and strengths, a new report finds. And that mismatch can lead to switching majors, transferring schools, and higher college costs overall.
About one-third of students who recently took the ACT college-entrance exam signaled plans to major in a subject that was not deemed a good fit with their academic interests, according to the study by the ACT Inc., the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing and research organization.
In all, 79 percent of students who took the ACT indicated a particular college major that they planned to pursue. That information was compared to their interests and profiles of college students in that same program of study to develop “interest-major fit scores” for the study.
The majority of ACT-tested graduates chose a major that was at least a moderate fit with their interests, but only 36 percent selected one that was a good fit and 32 percent chose a major that fit poorly with their interests, the report said.
A version of this article appeared in the December 04, 2013 edition of Education Week as Choosing a College