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April 30, 2021

Decision Day recognizes high school seniors' plans for college, military service

High schools across Missouri are participating in Decision Day to celebrate their seniors’ plans for the future and reminding students it’s not too late to decide to further their education and training.

A program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD), Decision Day is celebrated statewide on or near May 1 – the date by which many high school seniors are asked to notify a college of their plans to enroll. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some students may have delayed their decisions, and colleges may also be extending enrollment deadlines. Decision Day is a reminder to keep going through the process, to consider their options, and to find the best path for their future.

More than 81 Missouri high schools are participating in Decision Day this year. Activities will vary at each school but may include assemblies, guest speakers, social media, and virtual events. High school seniors who are considering college are also encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to maximize their chances of receiving financial aid. Taking financial aid into consideration is an important piece to finalizing plans for college. Students are also encouraged to continue to apply for scholarships.

In addition to celebrating future plans, Decision Day events provide assistance and support to seniors who have not yet applied to college and are still unsure of what’s next. For younger students, Decision Day emphasizes the importance of making a plan, and raising awareness of options.  

“We are excited to celebrate with seniors across the state as they graduate high school and take steps to continue learning,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “Whether choosing an apprenticeship program, seeking a certificate, associate degree, or taking the traditional four-year university route, recognizing these decisions helps to generate excitement and encourage students of all ages to think about how education and training can help them achieve their goals.”

Decision Day was inspired by the NCAA’s National Signing Day when student athletes sign a letter of intent to play college sports. Missouri Decision Day was started in 2016.

Decision Day is one of three Journey to College programs sponsored by MDHEWD to help Missouri students understand their options for the future, secure financial aid, and succeed in their plans.

Students are encouraged to announce their plans all summer via social media using #MODecisionDay.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.