Educators | National Decision Day

NationalDecisionDay, CRMay 1 is National Decision Day. Learn why it’s important.

National Decision Day is an event sponsored by the National College Advising Corps (NCAC) to celebrate the success of high school seniors in pursuing post-secondary education. Typically, these celebrations take place on or around May 1 which coincides with the date that many institutions use as a deadline for students to make an enrollment decision.

At a time when college education and/or post-secondary training is of the utmost importance with the ever-changing economy, Decision Day not only rallies support for seniors as they start a new journey but it also inspires younger high school students — especially those that may not be thinking about college for their future!

Why celebrate National Decision Day at your school?

  • To recognize students for their postsecondary endeavors
  • To rally students who have not made a decision to do so
  • To encourage younger students as they prepare for college
  • To support a college-going culture within the school

How does my school participate in National Decision Day?

Plan at least one school-wide event where students can be recognized for their future plans. Following are some ideas to get you started:

Hold an assembly or pep rally

  • Have all grades attend to build excitement about going to college
  • Involve the marching band and cheerleaders to make it a true celebration
  • Invite a guest speaker (alumnus from your school) to share their success
  • Invite all faculty, staff, and district office personnel to attend
  • Share some data on the senior class – number of college applications, number of acceptances, amount (in dollars) of scholarship money earned, etc.
  • Options for recognizing students:
    • Each student can walk across the stage/gym and announce their post-secondary plans
    • Someone can announce each college and have seniors stand when theirs is called
    • Create a slideshow to project the senior’s name, picture, and all of the schools they were accepted to. In big, bold letters each slide can say, “This Fall, I will attend: _______,” with the name of the school the student enrolled in.
  • See the video at the right for an example from a high school in Texas! College Signing Day 2012 from Uplift Education on Vimeo.

Have a College Signing Day

  • Inspired by the NCAA’s National Signing Day for collegiate athletes
  • Reinforces the idea that academic excellence should be given the same recognition as athletic excellence
  • Have high school seniors sign a banner, letter of intent, or poster to demonstrate their commitment to their future
  • Post the signatures in a highly-visible location within your school

Designate a “College Gear” Day

  • Choose one day (or a few) and allow seniors to wear college gear from their future schools
  • Allow underclassmen to wear their favorite gear
  • Invite teachers and staff to wear gear from their alma maters

Post students’ acceptance letters

  • Encourage seniors to submit a copy of their acceptance letters
  • Black-out all personal information aside from the student’s name and post in a high-traffic area for all to see in the hallways
  • This celebrates not only each student’s individual success but allows the overall accomplishments of the senior class to be seen
  • Check out the picture to the right of how Delaware Military Academy does this at their school!