Overview: In large part, your college admissions and scholarship research will be guided by the type of career and college major you choose to pursue. However, you may choose to pursue an undergraduate college major to further explore a gift, talent, or area of interest (art, music, dance, or philosophy). You may also choose to pursue an undergraduate college major that will immediately prepare you to pursue a career after attaining your undergraduate degree (e.g., actuarial science, accounting, or finance). Whether you begin college focused on an interest or a job, a projected college major can influence a college admissions or scholarship decision. For example, female applicants applying to a college’s engineering program (where a lower percentage of total applicants are female) may have a greater chance of being admitted than female applicants to a college’s education program (where a higher percentage of applicants are female).
Students may also find that fields of study with higher projected job growth, such as actuarial mathematics, engineering, finance, and nursing (Kiplinger 2016) have access to more institutional grants and scholarships, as well as private scholarships, than fields of study with lower projected future job growth, such as exercise science, religion, or graphic design (Kiplinger 2016). Students interested in pursing a community college or certification program may find far greater scholarship opportunities for programs in high growth industries such as healthcare, construction, and engineering technicians (Forbes 2012).