Each year, the NCAA holds a special event to celebrate high school athletes’ intent to play football in college. This occasion is known as  “National Signing Day“. The purpose of this ceremony is to celebrate the student athlete and all of his hard work and effort to get to this special day. Since this event is so inspiring for the students and their families, a similar event is taking place across the country to celebrate college acceptance and encourage younger students to prepare for college. This occasion is called “College Decision  Day“. As part of the Reach Higher Initiative by the White House, many states are now sponsoring “College Decision Day” on May 1st.  

The benefits of holding this event include:

  • Recognizing all students in front of their peers.
  • Showcasing students in the media for positive PR for the school.
  • Supporting a college going culture.
  • Having FUN!!

Want to know more about this initiative?  Watch this video by Ms. Obama and download the kit from Reach Higher.

Reach Higher Signing Day Kit 

If your school is not participating this year, no worries!  Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate next year’s college applicants.   

College Decision Day Events 
Currently, there are several outstanding College Decision Day programs that I would like to share with high school counselors.  

First, the City of San Antonio, Texas has a huge yearly event where over 4,000 students come together in their convention center to celebrate their college acceptance.  During this ceremony, students sit in a marked section with the name of their institution, they are congratulated by the mayor,  and addressed by a famous guest speaker. 

Next, the states of Michigan and Florida both have a statewide College Decision Day.  In Michigan, schools are invited to choose how they want to celebrate the event.  School can hold an assembly, invite an outside speaker to inspire seniors, hold a picnic, sponsor a carnival, support a breakfast, give prizes, ask staff to participate by decorating their doors, decorate the school with balloons, or ask students to wear college gear. 

Check out this video from Michigan, download their kit, and check out the student PSA.

Michigan College Decision Day 
Training Webinar 

This year, Florida instituted its College Decision Day.  You can view their kit which borrows ideas from Texas and Michigan.

Florida College Decision Day 

My School

Our college adviser has made plans for us to participate in College Decision Day on May 7th (we started planning a little late).  Before this event, seniors will bring in their acceptance letters so we can prepare their certificates and college bound t-shirts. 

College Bound Shirts for Students Who Bring in College Acceptance Letters

 On the day of the event, students will sign our gigantic wall sign showing off their college choice and teachers will post their colleges on their doors (I borrowed a generic form borrowed from the Florida Decision Day kit).

Generic Sign for Teachers’ Doors

 In addition, we will ask seniors to wear their college gear and invite them to our college/career center for cake (yum).  Since this is our first year, we are going to keep the ceremony small; however, next year, we are going to blow it up by advertising this event early (see the Creating College Going Culture kit below).
Creating a College Going Culture 

If your school is participating on May 1st, I would love to hear your ideas!!


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