College Decision Day


May 2019

What is Michigan’s College Decision Day?

The goal of College Decision Day is to recognize high school seniors for their postsecondary educational plans and encourage younger students and families to prepare early for postsecondary education. College Decision Day is held annually on or around May 1 and is designed to coincide with the date that most seniors must inform a college of their plans to enroll.

College Decision Day is inspired by the NCAA's National Signing Day to reinforce that excellence in the classroom should be given as much pomp and circumstance as excellence as an athlete. NCAA's National Signing Day is when high school seniors sign a letter of intent to play sports at a specific college. Traditionally players participate in press conferences to announce their intentions. Our goal is to mimic this excitement for ALL students going to college. College Decision Day is Michigan's adoption of National College Signing Day, a program of Former First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative which now sits with Better Make Room at The Common Application. The goals of National College Signing Day are: 

  • To encourage community leaders, schools, celebrities, and nonprofit and advocacy groups to host a “Reach Higher College Signing Day” to support students planning to attend and graduate from college
  • To celebrate ALL students and their commitment to complete their education beyond high school

Romulus Senior walk

Michigan’s College Decision Day was launched in 2014. Previously, high schools were hosting College Decision Day activities in isolation. MCAN launched an official statewide campaign and provided the training and technical assistance as well as the resources needed to help other schools quickly and easily host Decision Day. 

College Decision Day at its core is a celebration of students' success and their commitment to continuing their education after high school and is designed to help foster and promote a college-going culture within the school building. A successful Decision Day event will: 
  • Recognize the importance of an education after high school
  • Engage underclassmen in thinking about the next steps before their senior year
  • Create a sense of accountability in seniors through public commitment to help fight summer melt
  • Show students other seniors who are attending the same institution, helping to build a support network once they get there
  • Celebrate the work of teachers, counselors, and community organizations throughout the school year

Available Resources


Site Coordinator Resource Manual 

National College Signing Day Resources

  • 2017 Toolkit
  • In 2015, Michigan was honored to host First Lady Michelle Obama at the Detroit College Access Network's citywide College Signing Day! This video is a great recap of the wonderful event, and this video highlights some of the seniors that were featured throughout the day. 
  • Signing Day Campaign


Registration is open.



Michigan College Access Network | 200 N Washington Square, Suite 210, Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy