Pros and Cons of Declaring a STEM Major on Your College Application

In recent years, science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields have been growing fast. With the increased emphasis on STEM, admission to university STEM majors has become extremely competitive.

If you’re hoping for admission to a STEM-field focused major, you may plan to show this focus on your university applications. Still, you may have benefit in applying as an undeclared major and waiting until your sophomore or freshman year to declare a STEM major. Before deciding your course of action, consider following four questions.

Is admission to a STEM major more complex as a high school student?

The particular universities or colleges you apply to and the quality of the application profile will find the answer to this question. However, you should surely research this further before deciding to declare a STEM major on your university or college application.


Some schools may motivate you to declare you’re major as a high school senior student; others may hope to see your freshman-year performance – including in one or more STEM classes – before admitting you to your selected major. Also think about speaking with former or current STEM students to ask which path they found most advantageous.

Is the timing and complexity of admissions consistent across all STEM fields?

Not all STEM fields are similarly competitive. Whether you should declare your interest in a STEM major during the university application procedure will depend, to some extent, on the competitiveness of the school’s specific program. Careful research can assist you make an informed decision.

Investigate and examine the specific STEM major you are determine and considering whether admission to this program is less or more competitive than admission to others in the field. You may be able to get this information via an internet search, and you may need to contact the admissions office at each college or school that interests you.

Be sure to also ask whether declaring a major on your college application could give you an advantage. If several students wait to declare this major as university sophomores, for example, you may have benefits applying as a high school senior student with a declared major.

Does an undeclared major sacrifice you a year or more of support?

Certain STEM departments at several universities may offer support – such as scholarships, access to subject-specific databases or networking and libraries opportunities – that are exclusive to declared majors. If you find this to be the case through your research, you may want to indicate your intended major on your application, even if this does not provide you any admissions advantage.

For instance major-specific scholarships available only to incoming freshmen student can be excellent opportunities to assist pay for university, mainly if you are sure about your course of study. And do not dismiss other resources available to students with declared majors, including counseling in course selection.

Should some students opt for delayed or immediate entry to a STEM major?

If you are committed to majoring in a STEM, be sure to inquire as to whether your colleges of choice recommend either delayed or immediate entry for particular groups of students. For instance, students with straight A’s in high school, as well as relevant extra-curricular experience, may wish to preemptively declare a competitive major on their applications, while students with B’s or C’s on their high school transcripts may want to wait for delayed entry to first strengthen their academic records.

Tough competition for admission to STEM field majors at many schools, it is significant high school students hoping to get into the field think all the factors before declaring a major. Do not take this choice lightly.

And be sure to ask several questions – including the questions we have highlighted – before making your last decision. Doing so will assist make sure you have the best chance of securing admission to your top college and program?


Enhance customer experience for universities – communication and convenience

According to the recent survey of Hepi-HEA, a mere 37 percent of British students believe their university and college experience represents excellent value for money. There is always a temptation to blame government austerity, teaching quality and declining course, or any of the other ‘usual suspects’. But in this case, it is worth resisting.

Academic standards and Government policy are obviously significant; 53 percent of students perceived their course to represent good value for money in 2012, but those surveyed were not subject to the tripled £9,000 a year fees. That we have seen a 16 percent decline four years on is certainly no coincidence.

College Enrollment

Over two-thirds of complaints related to educational issues, several of which deserve attention: 54 percent of students want feedbacks on coursework within one to two weeks, but less than a third really get it within this time period. Only 16 percent of students believe teaching staff show original, creative methods, and only 18 percent demonstrate they enhance their educational knowledge and skills on a daily basis. This is certainly caused for concern.

But for all the severities of government cuts – and for all the supposed educational deficiencies – students have other reasons to doubt their university experience offers good value for money. As 85 percent describe themselves as satisfied with their course, it is fair to say many of the reasons have nothing to do with the class – so what exactly are they?

Depending on who you ask, universities do not think of themselves as businesses, but it is increasingly clear to all that students think of themselves as customers.

Again, it is possible to blame this development on tuition fee increases, but it can be more correctly described as a by-product of tuition fees as a concept. Pre-September 1998 – when they were first introduced – it was much simpler to buy into lofty rhetoric about high-minded scholarly rigor, pursuits and active participation in a vibrant intellectual community, as all you had to pay were low-interest maintenance loans. Even if the support team was useless, the professors inattentive, and the amenities unsatisfactory, they, at least, came at little or no cost to students.

For almost 20 years now, attending university has been a transactional experience. If students are unhappy with their end of the bargain, it is because they expect a level of ‘customer service’ that corresponds with their level of potential risk and investment.

Tuition is only a part of this equation. The ‘university experience’ marketed to under graduates is, amongst other things, a difficult alchemy of academics, support, technology and social activities. Value for money is about including all of these things – and more.

However, there’s also a clear belief university administrations have a duty to communicate openly and simply with enrollees: 75 percent believe quality of communication on university campus is “important” or “very important”, while 73 percent think the same of access to information on university campus.

Concerns about processes and systems were another recurring theme: 50 percent of students maintain ease of payments for services such as field trips and tuition is very important, while 71 percent value access to enough administrative support.

Seven out of ten of those surveyed believe compliance with data security legislation imperative – perhaps unsurprisingly, in an age where information is both vulnerable and valuable. The report also suggested vanity metrics such as league table rankings – which 31 percent believe to be the most influential on their choice of college or university – were less important than factors such as impact on employability, which was favoured by 36 percent.

Again, none of this is meant to downplay the significance of solid tuition – just to illustrate that “value for money” is an idea or concept informed by several different variables. There are a number of reasons why students might feel like they are not getting what they paid for services and this will effect on universities’ ability to recruit in the long-term.

While they cannot do much about tuition fees – nor will they be mainly inclined to – if colleges or universities are to enhance the overall customer guarantee and experience the continued retention and recruitment of students, they must think about how they can reform their internal processes to enhance communication, convenience, and security.

Virtual Campus Tours Are Worth It – or Worthless for Students

The university and college you prefer to attend is more than a place of education, it’s your home for next four years. Beyond its academic aspects, a school is a society of teachers, students and staff. Even the city, village or town surrounding your university can alter your experience significantly.

The best means of evaluating the “feel” of a school is by physically visiting college campus. Thus, traveling to distant universities and colleges can be very expensive, mainly if you must visit various locations. Virtual tours provide a potentially useful alternative to a physical university campus tour, albeit with a number of key drawbacks.

Online tours are cheaper than in-person visits, but cannot fully capture a university offering.

Virtual tours often do not show the less desirable parts of college campus life, but they can act as a initial point for further research.

College Virtual Tour

Here are some important points to consider while exploring colleges from afar:

Virtual tours provide one point of view:

Virtual tours are perhaps most pertinent when gathering a sense of the school atmosphere, such as its landscaping and architecture. Virtual tours may not shed light on all parts of a university and college, such as less desirable dormitories and outdated science laboratories.

Rather, you will gain a picture of the college or university as it wishes to be seen: neat and clean, with recently well-maintained and built buildings surrounded by wonderfully landscaped plants.

Consider the inner workings of a virtual tour site. The tours provide more than common-domain photographs of a college campus. There is a human tour guide who narrates each key feature of the university or college, accompanied by high-quality images.

This content is available to prospective teachers and students free of charge, despite the evident cost of creating such well-produced content. If students don’t pay for the tour material, it’s likely that advertisers do, which can bring up concerns about how objective the tour truly is if the school itself is sponsoring it.

Virtual tours enable further research:

Another reason for virtual tours is to offer an entry point for Internet research. Virtual tours provide potential students with a list of prominent landmarks on college or university campus, with the roles of several buildings in college campus life.

You can use Google Maps, Google Images and other similar tools to search for other photographs that balance and complete the perspective you get. Subgroups, Message boards on the site YouTube channels and Reddit that focus on specific colleges can enable you to see what students are participating and discussing in at an individual university and college. Again, none of these options will offer you with a holistic picture, but you will be able to gather extra information on a given university campus.

Even if you visit a school in summer vacations, there will be teachers, students and staff with whom you can speak. You can still take a tour with a trained guide, and you can also explore the university campus independently.

For instance, the virtual tour of Ohio State University, a college which I love and with which I am intimately familiar, doesn’t offer interior views of dormitories. The tour also doesn’t visit the off-campus locations near the college campus where the great majority of students live.

Prospective science majors aren’t able to view the interior of the student laboratories. Prospective theater or art students don’t gain a close glimpse of the performance and studio spaces. The virtual tour also doesn’t convey the huge scale of the college campus and the widespread classrooms that necessitate a bicycle or important planning of transportation time.

Virtual tours do not introduce you to the student body:

Beyond facilities, visiting a university and college campus allows you to meet the students who go there. Returning to University as an example, there is no virtual tour that will show the feeling of being on campus for a football game. More than 100,000 students in the stadium and thousands more tailgating nearby is a unique experience. You may find said experience off-putting or exciting, but the virtual tour cannot provide the feeling for seeing it in person.

When positioned as an initial scouting trip, a virtual tour can be a amazing tool. If a college shows you its best side and you still find it unappealing, you can eliminate it. The virtual tour can also be a strong start for more wide investigation. So, when possible, in-person visits are usually superior.

Important tips to Enroll Students in Community College This Summer

Taking a summer course at a community college this summer may be a better option for kids who would rather hit the books than the beach.

And several students may be able to use federal dollars to assist pay for these summer courses. The Department of Education announced last month that 45 universities and colleges will participate in an experimental program that will permit high school students to use Pell Grants – a form of financial aid – to assist pay for dual enrollment courses.

Commonly speaking, students earn both college and high school credit when participating in dual credit programs, says Elisabeth Barnett, a proficient on dual enrollment at Teachers College, Columbia University. Though, she notes, that the language used to explain these types of programs varies.

Several teens will have to follow the steps students typically take to register, such as submitting an application and taking placement tests.

But high scholars do not have to contribute in a dual enrollment program to take classes at a community college, says Barnett. They could just go to a community college and ask to register for a summer course.

Community College

Here are some important tips that Parents and Teachers can help kids take the following steps to register in a community college summer courses:


Students and Parents should talk with a high school counselor before kids register in community college for summer courses, says Tim Conway, director of school counseling at Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, New Jersey. A high school counselor can assist children plan and choose courses that align with their future aim or goals, he says.

School counselors can also inform families of the essential procedures to register in a community college course in their state, he says, while making sure families get the most reasonable cost.

And High school counselors can make sure students get high school credit if they are contributing in a dual enrollment program, along with advising students on which community college courses are likely to transfer to four-year university students are considering attending, he says.

Parents can aid in the process by researching community college courses online through the course catalog to see what is available, and at what time, price and location, to make sure the summer course fits into families’ budgets and schedules, he says.


Several students will have to follow the steps students usually take to enroll, such as submitting an application and taking placement exam.

High schooler’s will usually have to apply for admission to the community college before they can take a course. The application is typically truly straightforward, says Barnett. Thus, various community colleges have minimum age requirements, she says. And sometimes teens may have to take a placement test before enrolling in summer courses.

Most summer courses community colleges have open admission policies, which means that normally anyone who can benefit from higher education can register, says Julie Leidig, provost of Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus. She also coordinates the dual enrollment program.

At her institution, high schooler’s have to meet a standard for college readiness, often through a placement exam, to take a summer course. And if they use to get high school credit, they have to get support from their high school beforehand.


After students receive admission to the community college, they will require registering for courses, says Conway.

Leidig says first-time students are required to go through an orientation before they sign up and go through advising at her institution, thus students should not wait until the last moment. However, there is still time for high schooler’s to register in summer courses at her school this year.

Conway says these summer courses can assist students find their niche, get a jump-start on university or college and potentially permit families to save some money on higher education.

“It is real college, and that transcript will follow you,” she says. “A student shouldn’t be too afraid of doing this if they have the correct preparation, but they should understand that it is not just an experiment with going to college – it is going to college.”

Some Important scientific tips about How to beat the onset of panic in examination

Imagine the scene of the exam hall, the noise of the invigilator walking down and up and the deafening sound of the clock ticking. For several students, the stress and pressure of examinations can be suffocating.

The students who are most likely to do well under pressure have a very specific outlook and will have repeatedly practiced nurturing this so it comes as second nature. But now that examinations are here, the time for that has passed. Therefore what is the best advice for those who are prone to panicking?


How to beat the onset of panic in examination

Here we discuss about some important scientific ways to beat the onset of terror in an examination-

Take a deep breath

When under stress and pressure, your mind becomes awash with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. In various cases, this makes students speed up, as they think they have less time left than they really do.

When under stress or pressure, hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline flood the mind, which makes students think they have less time than they do.

Researchers have also discovered a vicious cycle between heart rate and emotions. The more stressed you’re, the faster your heart beats. But a faster heart-rate is often interpreted as stress, which means a difficult situation can quickly escalate. If you break for a moment and take a deep breath, these helps everything slow down and break the cycle.

Read the question twice – without holding your pen and stick

One of the most common mistakes made in exams is misreading the problem or question. Re-reading a problem or question sounds so simple, but it is amazing how simply this can lapse. For students who have low impulse control, try recommending they put down their pencil or pen when they read the question. This will assist counteract the urge to rush and write down a solution immediately.

Read the problem or question twice without holding your stick and pen to the plan – these psychology-inspired way or tip will help students keep their cool.

Think back to your revision: have you answered similar problems before?

Even if a student has not faced the accurate same question before, remembering a successful thought process can assist them get started. This is because it helps students be aware of their thought processes and choose an effective way of thinking about a question, rather than panicking. This idea or concept of thinking about your thinking, known as metacognition, has been found to be one of the most successful strategies for enhancing self-regulation and self-awareness.

What would your tutor say?

Psychologists often talk about the Dunning-Kruger effect, which clarify why novices often tend to overestimate their abilities and are less aware of their limitations. Teachers can avoid this among students by asking them to place themselves in the shoes of someone wiser or older. Chances is that over the previous months tutors will have repeatedly given suggestions and advice on how best to go about answering a problem. Asking “What would my tutor say?” should assist students get on track.

Better to guess the answer than leave it blank

Write nothing at all and you are guaranteed to get zero. Sport fans know this as “a shot to nothing”, as you have nothing to lose if it goes wrong. The only caveat here is at college, where some examinations are negatively marked.

Stick to your exam strategy

It is simple, when faced with a difficult problems and questions, to feel put off and demoralized. But having an exam strategy can assist students stay focused and alert.

Our brains crave control and certainty. When we feel unsure of what to do, or that we have no influence on the outcome, we tend to feel more anxious and stressed. By focusing on pre-prepared game plans, students can wrestle back this feeling of control and certainty.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Some stress can assist aid performance, but excessive pressure often stops students from thinking visibly or clearly. One sign that psychologists say is an indication that a student is under too much stress or pressure is thinking in extremes. This might include phrases such as “I must write at least five pages to answer this problem” and “I have to get full marks”.


This all-or-nothing thinking is not helpful. Students should be confident to practice self-compassion and be kind to themselves in the examination. This can be done by using phrases and words such as “sometimes”, “I could” or “I might”. For instance, “I might write five pages in answer to this problem, but if I’m running out of time period and struggling, it’s better to move on.”

How Parents and Counselors can enhance student’s Chances to Earn Scholarships

Finding and applying for scholarships while at the same time completing high school can be very stressful and overwhelming for the average 18 year old. University or College counseling and Parental guidance can not only assist alleviate some of that stress but can also boost the likelihood of students being accepted to and enrolling in university.

Counselors and Parents can be most effective throughout the process by serving as a rich resource rather than by forcing their opinion on students. That means you have to stick to the basics: applying early, completing student profiles, meeting deadlines and having correct documents available.


Here are few helpful tips and ways in which counselors and parents can be the greatest resources for college-bound students.

Start early:

Students can begin competing for scholarships early by recognize their key skills and interests. Counselors and Parents can help by sitting down with students and creating profiles that highlight the students’ strong skills and points. They can then help the students in find scholarship opportunities that are most aligned with the students’ individual profiles.

Counselors and Parents can then assist benchmark students’ progress to ensure they are in right direction to meet scholarship requirements. Think of this as preparing a resume for a scholarship. By researching scholarships early, even high school sophomores and freshmen can take the essential courses, earn the requisite GPA and contribute in the appropriate extra-curricular activities and sports to help strengthen their scholarship resume and boost their probability of securing scholarships.

Several scholarships are open to students who demonstrate an early commitment to a particular activity or cause. For instance, patriotic students in ninth through 12th grade can earn up to $30,000 through the VFW Voice of Democracy Competition by recording an audio essay on the theme “My Responsibility to America.” The My Preparedness Story: Staying Resilient and Healthy Video Challenge, which is open to students ages 15-23, requires students to be active in their social circles and community, mainly regarding preparation for emergencies and disasters.

Counselors and Parents can assist students learn about and get involved in community and school projects and initiatives, mainly for scholarships that call for community involvement and social action.

In addition to staying involved outside of the classroom, counselors and parents should be aware of each and every scholarship’s GPA requirements with other academic criteria. Although not all scholarships are based on excellent grades, many of the prominent and high-dollar scholarships require a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA.

Help prioritize:

Sometimes counselors, parents and even older siblings who have been through the scholarship process can finest answer the query of which scholarships should be on the students’ short list.

Students should never apply for a scholarship that needs a fee; much less use a scholarship service that charges.

However, some highest dollar scholarships – such as The Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship, through which qualifying community college and high school seniors students are eligible to win up to $20,000 – require students to show a strong academic record, leadership skills and community involvement.

Counselors and Parents and can assist students prioritize. If student finds high-dollar scholarships that require lengthy essays, motivate them to invest more effort and time in those scholarship opportunities first and then apply for various smaller, easier ones. Often, counselors or parents can be extremely helpful in providing establishing priorities and direction as well as determining the work versus likely reward ratio of a scholarship.

If a scholarship requires small effort and the students succeed, motivate them to apply. Still, if the application will take some hours to complete, counselors and parents can provide students with extra information and insight on the process and help them to determine whether they should apply or not.

Understand the parent’s responsibility:

Several parents hope that their kids will go to university, but they may also worry about affording it. University has become some times more costly than when parents attended.

Many, but not all, scholarships require families to show financial need, such as the 100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives Scholarship Program. Scholarships based on financial need are typically designed to recruit and fund particular ethnic, gender and racial groups in certain fields.

Financial pressure can come from a multitude of different sources, one of which can be the death of a guardian or parent. The Life Lessons Scholarship Program was established to offer $15,000 in scholarship funds for those who persevered in the face of this difficulty.

As they research the financial fit of university, parents should check into the merit-based aid – scholarships and grants – that their student’s preferred schools award in addition to need-based aid. That will help position students to assist themselves.

Build up Your Experiences of Community Colleges for University Admissions

There are several reasons students may select to attend a community college before transferring to a four-year university or college, including career uncertainty and personal situations that need them to remain close to home. One more common reason students choose community college is to increase their likelihood of success when applying to more competitive universities.

Community College

Finally, community college can be an excellent first step when returning to college after spending time in the working environment. If any of these paths describe you, here are few important tips about how you can use your community college experiences to make stronger your application to a top-tier university or college.

Set and achieve specific goals:

Success in university depends on your skills, knowledge and ability to complete projects with minimal supervision. While at community college, work hard on your projects and assignments, and concentration on ways to best complete your projects or assignments. Set particular goals you would like to accomplish, and do your best to make these a reality.

When writing your university admissions essay, consider emphasizing your workflow in completing one or more major projects or assignments. Mention your grades on the projects, but primarily focus on the ways you broke the assignments down into manageable parts and how you led a team in completing a group assignment or project.

Community college is more complex than all but the most elite high schools, and outlining your skill or ability to complete this important challenge can be a major application achievement. You don’t necessarily need to have an associate certificate or degree or in hand, although that can surely help. Simply demonstrating your ability to manage difficult projects or tasks can suggest just how serious you are about your education and carrier.

Learn to overcome challenges:

For several students, university is a new starting. Enrolling and performing well in difficult community college courses can be a great way to demonstrate that you aren’t afraid to stretch yourself, mainly because transfer admissions officers are often well aware that students don’t always thrive in the strictures of school. If you can prove that you are taking challenging tasks and classes and doing excellent, you can likewise prove that you are well suited for the rigors of a four-year degree program.

Several community college courses will include research papers, lab reports and the like. Don’t be afraid to reference these in your personal statement or to add them as supplemental materials in your admission application.

Seek help when necessary:

Letters of reference are significant component of your college transfer application. As such, it’s critical to make sure that you are speaking regularly with your lecturers and forming personal connections that go beyond class attendance. A tutor who can detail your ability to complete projects on time, your interest in your chosen field of study, and your eagerness to contribute to course discussions can build a case for your academic engagement.

It takes surprisingly little push to stand out, and you need not have the best scores to do so. Dedication and Passion count for much more than grades when it comes to references and an enthusiasm to seek assist is a trait that universities welcome in prospective students. When asking a lecturer for a reference, be sure to mention that you need the letter to highlight your skills that will enable success at the next level.

Embrace mentorship:

Few community colleges have formal mentoring programs that match students with experts. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain valuable academic, networking advice and career.

Several experts at community colleges are either recent graduate of advanced degree programs and late-career professionals who enjoy teaching. The first category of tutor may have a great deal of insight into the inner workings of universities and colleges.

These tutors may be able to connect you to experts at your college of choice. They also may be able to advice you on what to look for – and what to avoid – when choosing a four-year university.

Late-career lecturers, in contrast, can provide advice on long-term success in your interested field. They can also connect you with recruiters and internships. If you find a trainer who balances book learning with a lifetime of practical experience, do everything you can to learn from this individual.

Even if your community college doesn’t provide a formal mentoring program, most professors love to share their skills and knowledge. Stay after class and visit during office hours to establish rapport.

Learn to lead others:

The opportunities for leadership in community college are ironically both easier to claim and harder to locate than in high school. Each and every college has student groups, and most have some form of student government.

But since community college students usually stay on campus for less time as well as commute to school, community colleges normally have fewer well-defined groups and little or no Greek system. Thus, there is generally less competition for the leadership roles that do exist.

Take benefits of these opportunities to become involved and use that experience to bolster your admission application. Even a semester of leadership can demonstrate your campus involvement, and it can also emphasize your ability to manage various responsibilities.

Regardless of your reason for attending community college, take lot of opportunities you have to explore yourself. Then when you apply to transfer to a four-year university, be clear in emphasizing how you have grown as a student or as a person. This will extensively strengthen your application.