Iowa-based ACT, which administers college readiness exams, reports half of all high school graduates change their major by the second year of college.
In a survey of high school graduates from 2013, ACT reported only 1 out of every 2 second-year college students declared a major in the same area that they said they would pursue when they registered to take the ACT in high school.
The odds were best for business majors, as about 63% of high school students who planned to major in business actually declared that major by their second year of college. The likelihood of staying with plans to pursue an education major was lower, at 46%; it was lower still for plans to pursue English or foreign language majors at 40%, and lower still for architecture, with only 22% of second-year college students actually declaring that major after announcing plans to pursue it in high school.
Odds were high for students to pursue plans to major in engineering, with 56% following through with that plan. However, less than 15% of high school students who planned to pursue engineering technology and drafting actually followed that with declaring a major in the field.
The report said female students were more likely than males to follow through with plans to pursue an education major; male students were more likely than females to pursue plans to major in philosophy, religion and theology.