The goal of Decision Day is to celebrate high school seniors' postsecondary education plans and encourage younger students to prepare early for college. Decision Day is held annually on or around May 1 and is designed to coincide with the date by which most students must inform a college of their plans to enroll.
Participating in Decision Day
If your high school or organization is interested in participating in Decision Day in April or May 2017, you may register your school by submitting an online Decision Day event change form at https://surveys.mo.gov/index.php/792874.
If you are already planning ahead to next year, the 2017-18 Journey to College site registration form is also available now through August 25, 2017. You may use this form to register to host Apply Missouri, FAFSA Frenzy, and/or Decision Day during the 2017-18 academic year.
Materials and resources available
The 2016-17 site coordinator Resource Manual is available for all three Journey to College programs. The Missouri Department of Higher Education provides electronic templates, flyers, and other information as well as indoor/outdoor banners, promotional items, and other supplies to help site coordinators plan and host a successful Decision Day celebration. The 2017-18 version of the Journey to College Site Coordinator Resource Manual will be available in the spring of 2017.
Why host Decision Day?
In 2016, Missouri launched an official statewide campaign to help all Missouri high schools plan college decision celebrations to support students in reaching their educational goals.
Decision Day events:
- Recognize all students for their postsecondary plans
- Encourage and remind students that it is time to make a decision
- Support the best match and college fit for each student
- Build excitement among younger students as they prepare for college
- Foster a college-going culture
- End the school year with a celebration
Expectations of host sites
Although each school may organize an event that meets the needs of the school and its students, there are a few expectations for official Decision Day sites.
- Recognize all students for their postsecondary plans, including plans to attend a vocational tech, two- or four-year college or university, enter the military, or pursue other postsecondary training.
- Include the entire student body in the celebration.
- Register your site and report your data using the 2017 Decision day Site Coordinator survey.
Promoting a college-going culture
The following ideas can be used to help promote a college-going culture at your school:
Encourage college talk: engage everyone in talk about college to ensure that no matter where students turn or who they are talking to, college is being discussed. Ask questions “where are you going to college?” or "what are your plans after high school?" of all students.
Define clear expectations: communicate and reinforce the belief that all students can attend college.
Connect students to relevant and necessary information and resources to officially enroll in college. Provide guidance to students who haven’t yet applied or been admitted to college
Support students through the college test preparation and exam process. Discuss what to expect with college placement exams and how performance tests may impact their college experience.
Engage educators to promote a college-going culture among students. Encourage all teachers and staff to be part of Decision Day celebrations inside and outside the classroom.
Engage family members to increase the chances of student success in the college preparation, application and enrollment process.
Develop relationships between schools and postsecondary institutions to support the official enrollment process and transition to college.
Weave in college access throughout a student’s life, starting at the earliest possible point and supporting the student all the way through high school graduation (and beyond). Don’t forget to engage younger students and families in college planning activities to help them learn more about what it takes to officially enroll in college. An example of an activity is a college preparation fair for younger students and their parents.
Decision Day could be an emotional time for students; positive emotions celebrating student success and possible negative emotions for students who may not have been accepted to their top college of choice. Be as supportive and encouraging as possible.