Colleges, High Schools Prepare To Celebrate College Signing Day Online
April 06, 2020

Although the future may look uncertain as campuses across the country remain closed due to the coronavirus, what is certain is that postsecondary education remains a key component to future success, especially for first-generation and low-income students.

That is why high schools, higher education institutions, and communities around the country are moving forward with plans to observe College Signing Day. Activities will be shifted online to celebrate graduating high school seniors and transfer students who have made the commitment to pursue a postsecondary education.

College Signing Day is usually recognized every year on May 1 but can be celebrated any time throughout the college decision season. Students and schools are encouraged to post to social media using the hashtags #CollegeSigningDay and #BetterMakeRoom.

College Signing Day is part of Reach Higher, an initiative started in 2014 by former First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage and activate educators, counselors, and other adults to help first-generation and low-income students see college as an option, whether at a traditional four-year university, a community college, an industry-recognized training program, or in the military. 

Postsecondary education is a critical part of a successful future for both recent high school graduates and post-traditional learners alike. A 2011 study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reported that on average, lifetime earnings for an individual with a bachelor’s degree will be 1.8 times higher than those of a high school graduate, and the lifetime earnings for those with an associate degree will be 1.4 times higher.

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 in turn strengthens the country’s economy and citizenry.

College Signing Day has grown from one event in 2014 to over 3,000 across the United States and internationally in 2019. Reach Higher commemorated 2019’s College Signing Day at UCLA with over 10,000 college-bound students.

For more information and a College Signing Day toolkit, see the Better Make Room website, the student campaign supporting Reach Higher.

​Related Content

College Signing Day
May 1, 2020
Register your event and download the College Signing Day Toolkit

Reach Higher