College Decision Day


May 2017


 About Decision Day  Available Resources   2017 Host Sites


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. 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 addresses the gap between college application rates and enrollment rates among our students, and the complicated process for officially enrolling in college.

Michigan is trending in the right direction in college readiness and college enrollment among our low-income students.  Between 2002 and 2012, Michigan’s college participation rate for low-income students increased by 22.4%, ranking Michigan 4th among all states! Among the graduating class of 2012-2013, 69.5% of high school graduates enrolled in a higher education institution within 12 months of high school graduation. This represents an increase of 3.5% from the baseline year of 2009-2010.  Statewide Initiatives such as Decision Day will help ensure this upward trend continues. 

Want to see how students celebrated Decision Day 2015? Check out this highlight reel using Storify to feature Tweets, photos and conversations across social networks.

Available Resources for 2017


Site Coordinator Resource Manual 

Decision Day videos

 Logos and images

National College Signing Day Resources

  • The Reach Higher team has joined Better Make Room at Civic Nation. Be sure to register your event with the national campaign here and make use of the toolkit, event guide, and a chance to receive a $500 grant for your event.
  • 2017 Toolkit
  • In 2015, Michigan was honored to host First Lady Michelle Obama at the Detriot 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. 


 Check out our map of 2017 host sites:


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