Does your choice of major matter in LACs?

I’m an international student seeking full financial aid in LACs.
I have two preferred major choices- Educational Studies and Comp Science.
Considering that Edu Studies grads don’t earn as much/tend to be ‘financially’ less successful, will my chances get low if I select my preferred major as Educational Studies?

LACs do not, as a rule, consider the major that you enter in the applications as preferred when they decide whether to accept you. So your choice will likely not make a difference.

However, except for Amherst College, all LACs are need aware for international students. So the fact that you will need full financial aid will be considered against you in admissions. What that means is that you will need not only to convince them to accept you, you will need to convince admissions that you are worth four years of a full ride.

This means that, no matter how accomplished you are, being admitted to most LACs which are full need met for international students will be extremely challenging.

Good luck


OP: Which LACs offer a major in Education /Educational Studies ?

Do the LACs that you are interested in attending offer financial aid to international applicants ?

If yes, then does financial need affect your chances of admission as an international applicant ?

Would you consider majoring in CS and minoring in Educational Studies ?


Colgate does. Hamilton has a minor. Wesleyan has a linked major and a minor. Not sure about others but I know those.


Are you asking if an LAC would be less likely to give you a $250,000 education because you are interested in a field that doesn’t pay as well as some others?


On the other hand…

You are asking a US college to gift you something that they can sell for $250,000 or more. It is like walking into a Lamborghini car dealership and saying ‘I need a car for my future life’ and them handing you one for free. And, obviously, you are not the only person asking for this.

LACs mostly get the money for scholarships from past students who donate money, and even the richest ones have a limit to how much money they can give away every year. Lots of students- American and international- need scholarship money, and the colleges have to decide how much to give to each student.

The whole point of a LAC is for students to be exposed to a range of subjects at a reasonably advanced level. Most do not allow you to formally declare a major before second semester of first year, and do not require you to declare until second semester of second year. When you put a proposed major down on your application it will affect who your first advisor is, but at most LACs it is unlikely to directly affect your admissions chances.

LACs “build a class”, the way that a conductor builds an orchestra. So, they don’t choose just on scores or grades or special talents or ECs or life story or goals or what the student wants to study- they consider all of it and more. Your application tells the overall story of who you are and how you would fit as a member of the community. When the Admissions Officer opens your application you want them to think “ah! this student will be a great addition to our community because X”. You want them to read it and think “this student is such an outstanding candidate, such a good fit for our school that we will gift them a full college education”. As @MWolf pointed out, that is a big ask, and a big challenge for you. Your letters of reference and essays will paint a picture of a student.

Which brings us to your major: what do you really want to do? because it is much more likely that you will write a convincing essay if what you are writing about is genuinely true to you, not to what you think / hope / guess will impress the reader most.