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Planning A Successful Decision Day Event

By: TxCAN   |   April 2023

It’s that time of year when students will be celebrating their commitment to continuing their education. TxCAN shares some Decision Day resources and tips for a successful event!

College Decision Day is traditionally celebrated on May 1. This is an exciting time to celebrate the achievements of your students who have committed to pursuing an education after high school. Whether they plan to attend a community college, a four-year university, a certificate program, enroll in the military, or any other education TxCAN values the guidance and efforts you and your team have provided to your students to navigate the post-secondary pathway along the way.  

As the school year ends, many students across the nation will be celebrating their commitment to continuing their education. This celebration can serve as a great opportunity to celebrate your students and engage families, the campus, and the community. Below you’ll find some helpful resources and tips to make your campus Decision Day event one to remember!  

Get everyone on campus in the spirit! 

Leading up to your decision day event consider starting the following activities on your campus. 

  1. Wall of Honor- Consider having a Wall of Honor where every student can hang up a paper pennant representing their next steps after graduation. Their pennant could include their name, their college logo, or their military branch.  

  1. Leaving a Legacy Note- Encourage your graduating class to write an anonymous letter of encouragement to the next graduating class. These letters would then go in a big box where the rising senior class would select letters to randomly read.  

  1. College Signing Day Spirit Week 

  1. Monday- HS class colors 

  1. Tuesday- college/career spirit day 

  1. Wednesday – future is bright (sunglasses day) 

  1. Thursday- thank a teacher day 

  1. Friday- decades day 

Let’s make it a family affair! 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get families to participate in your student's decision day event. Here are a few ideas to consider: 

  1. Collect letters from family members- By simply creating an online form where they can write their message to their student. Or having a physical drop-off location at your office/campus.  

  1. Invite families to Decision Day- If you’re able to host decision day in a large space at your campus consider inviting their family members to the event. Maybe have a photo booth to capture the moment.  


A senior’s accomplishment is a community accomplishment! 

When you have students thrive the community thrives, and this is something that should be acknowledged and celebrated. By getting the community involved everyone can celebrate this major milestone for the student and the community. Here are a few ideas on how to include your community in Decision Day. 

  1. Sponsorship Letter 

Use this letter to reach out to local companies to find sponsorship for different items needed for your event. Make sure to make a copy of the file to edit the document to your needs and specifications.  

  1. Outreach for Sponsorship 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to local businesses and big box stores. You’ll be surprised how many are willing to donate items or gift cards for your event. Here are some ideas:  

  • Fast food chains 

  • Coffee shops 

  • Retail stores (i.e. Walmart, H-E-B, Target) 

  • Local organizations (i.e. parental involvement, Chambers of Commerce) 

  • Local higher education institutions (admissions offices, greek organizations)  

  • – offers different ways you can get free stuff for your event  

  1. Items to consider for sponsorship 

  • Food/desserts and refreshments 

  • Gift cards 

  • Items for dorm room ideas 

  • Twin comforter 

  • Backpacks 

  • Dry erase boards 

  • Laundry basket with items 

  • Refillable water bottle 

  • Bath towels 


  1. Guest Speakers & Volunteers 

Volunteers and guest speakers can increase the capacity of your event and provide a fun atmosphere for students and staff! Connect potential guest speakers to share your plan and encourage their participation. This is a great way to include Alumnae from your high school! 


  1. Adopt a senior 

Consider starting “Adopt-A Senior” at your high school. When “Adopting-A-Senior” community members will be responsible for gifting a gift basket to the graduating senior before graduation. Create an excel sheet of seniors and assign them to a community member that is volunteering for this effort. 


We hope these tips and resources spark new ideas to create a successful event for your students, their families, the campus, and the community!

The Texas College Access Network (TxCAN) connects and supports college access initiatives across Texas, with the goal of increasing access to college and certificate programs.