The Economy’s Effect on College Major Decision

Student Author(s)

Steven Van Hoven

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. John Lunn

Document Type


Event Date



The decision to pick a major has become one of the toughest choices any college student will make during their lifetime. The majority of college freshmen arrive on campus with an idea of their ideal major but throughout the four to six years of college many students will change their major due to a wide variety of factors. This single choice plays a vital role not only during their time at the institution, but also in the years following graduation, and can essentially shape the rest of their lives. There has been an increased focus on the economy across all age groups, since the financial recession of 2008. The slide in the economy made me wonder if it had an impact on the college major decision. This analysis provided a link between the nation’s economy and college major decision. The college major decision is not only affected by fixed factors such as gender and race, but dynamic factors, like the economic climate that wax and wane over time.

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