Let's Go to college Virginia! Decision Day is a celebratory event first sponsored by the National College Advising Corps (NCAC), which was founded at the University of Virginia. Both the organization and the event are now recognized nationally. Decision Day activities rally support for students as they make their decisions about life after high school. While events have been happening over the past few years at various locations across the state, 2017 was the first year that the Commonwealth of Virginia joined local schools and communities in celebrating the postsecondary choices of our students through Decision Day in Virginia. Decision Day in VA now serves as the annual culminating event for the 1-2-3 Go! initiative.
The goal of Decision Day is to recognize ALL high school seniors for their postsecondary plans and encourage younger students and families to prepare early for postsecondary education. It is important that we celebrate this big step for seniors and involving underclassmen helps to build a stronger college-going culture and informed student pipeline. Decision Day is held annually on or around May 1.
Why celebrate Decision Day?
− To recognize all students for their postsecondary plans
− To encourage and remind students it’s time to make a decision
− To support the best match and fit for each student
− To motivate and excite younger students about their future college and career plans
− To support a school and community college-going culture
Making Decisions about College - Toolkit for Students and Families
Map of Colleges and Universities in Virginia
Factors to Consider: Choosing the Right College
Make Your Decision: Compare Award Offers
Senior Year Checklist
Download these resources and/or refer to your hard copy of the 2018-19 Virginia Opportunities guide and workbook (English/Spanish). Guides are available through most school counseling offices and can be ordered by school staff in bulk at https://www.ecmc.org/schools/order-opportunities-booklets.html.
Hosting an Event
Register your event as a Signing Day project and receive national recognition and eligibility for project funding.
Receive funding for your Decision Day/Signing Day event. After registering your event you may request funds, of up to $500, through Reach Higher and ChooseDonor.org. Funds can be used to support the purchase of associated supplies. Scroll down to the bottom of the registration page and review the "Fund Your Event" instructions. You will be redirected to choosedonor.org. Once you follow and complete the instructions there, please remember to forward the link to your new project donation page to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration for Decision/Signing Day funding.
Event guide and templates for hosting a decision day or college signing day event
Suggestions for Decision Day Activities
Plan at least one school-wide event where all 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 post high school success and journey
- Invite all faculty, staff, and district office personnel and appropriate community members to attend
- Share some data on the senior class – number of college applications, number of acceptances, amount (in dollars) of scholarship money earned, etc.
- Co-host events with other high schools in your district or region. Engage a local college to provide space and resources. A college cheering squad, pep band and campus DJ can set the tone for a great college celebration.
- See the picture below at ACCESS College Foundation's regional event held on the Old Dominion University campus. Over 2000 students from Tidewater and Eastern Shore school districts gathered to celebrate their postsecondary decisions.