Colleges, High Schools Gear Up for College Signing Day
April 11, 2022

​High schools, higher education institutions, and communities nationwide are preparing for College Signing Day, a series of events throughout May celebrating all students committed to pursuing an education past high school. 

College Signing Day is a part of Reach Higher, an initiative launched in 2014 by Michelle Obama to encourage and activate educators, counselors, and other adults to help first-generation and low-income students view college as an option, whether at a four- or two-year institution, through an industry-recognized training program, or through the military. Reach Higher aims to help students navigate the college process by enhancing student support systems, raising awareness of college access tools, and reaching and celebrating student successes. 

Postsecondary education has become a critical part of a successful future for both recent high school graduates and post-traditional learners alike. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2020 show that median earnings for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or associate degree was about 67 percent and 20 percent higher, respectively, than those of high school graduates. 

The pandemic has only increased the importance of postsecondary education, given that 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to workers with at least some college education, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Research also suggests college graduates are healthier, more engaged in their communities, and more likely to understand the issues of the day and vote. College graduates contribute far more in taxes and require less government assistance and health care, which strengthens the country’s economy and citizenry.

Since 2014, there have been more than 5,000 College Signing Day events celebrating millions of students. Despite having to move to virtual events in 2020 and 2021, Reach Higher and other institutions hosted a mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events in 47 states. 

Reach Higher will commemorate College Signing Day at its first in-person event since it celebrated 2019’s College Signing Day​ at UCLA with over 10,000 college-bound students. Details about the in-person event are forthcoming.

For more information visit the College Signing Day and Better Make Room websites and explore the 2022 College Signing Day toolkit.