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  • Thumbnail for Expensive decisions : how students choose their college majors in a changing economy
    Expensive decisions : how students choose their college majors in a changing economy by Putnam, Laura

    All undergraduate college students face the important decision of what major to graduate with. This important choice affects their future careers and current happiness while in college. A number of factors go into this decision-making practice, including ability, preferences, and demographic trends. This paper hypothesizes that students also care about the current state of the economy. The data used in this multinomial logit model comes from eleven years of data on Colorado College graduates. After analyzing the results at the division and major level, the hypothesis proved to be weak in the Colorado College population. Six out of twenty-eight majors significantly responded to the independent variable measuring the national unemployment rate, although none of the majors responded drastically. Overall, an increase in the unemployment rate led to more economics, mathematical economics, and environmental studies majors while a decrease led to more physics, religion and English majors.