I can remember clearly that Friday decision day, many years ago, when I got “the Letter” from the school I really wanted to go to. 

In fact, I had been bugging my parents every day for a week wondering when “decision day” was coming. The “thick letter” arrived, thankfully, and I was able to attend my school of choice. However, it got me thinking about the things you can do in your office to take some of the stress off. And to help your families manage the good (and even the bad) news.

Here are some of thing things your admission office should do, and some things to avoid.

Decision Day Do’s and Dont’s:

Check out 3 things you can do right away to make decision day a little bit easier for your families, and your team, to stomach. 

1. Get the tough calls out of the way

No, it’s no fun to let legacies or siblings know that they won’t be able to attend the school. Sometimes you’ll get tremendous pushback, disappointed parents, or a combination of the two. If you can let those folks know ahead of time, and even have “options” prepared for them (at other schools, or with your waitpools), it will make that week go a little easier for everyone. You definitely don’t want your head of school to get ambushed with that conversation, so make sure that the list is communicated to the folks most likely to field an angry call or email ahead of time.

2. Have that revisit day quickly

With the competition for students (and full pay students!) today, it’s vital to get as many non-committed students back on campus as quickly as possible. Any opportunity to spend a few minutes with a faculty member, coach, or another program leader could make the difference between another student enrollment and a “loss”. You can even host virtual revisit days to cater to as many families as possible. 

3. Provide the platform

We all know how important social media is to spread and build our brands. It’s just as important to use social media to welcome new students and making them feel at home. Create a series of sharable images for your newly admitted students and their families to post to their social media accounts. With a couple of well-placed #hashtags, you can generate some fun conversations in the community.

You are probably thinking, “I don’t have a graphic designer!” or “hashtags?”

  • Use free services like Canva, which allow you to create customized, free graphics for distribution
  • Plan out your hashtags and make sure you include them in your welcome packets. The University of Maryland did a great campaign this year, using #NowATerp. Really smart…
  • If you use electronic notification, ask your parents to shoot a quick video of the good news to post to their social media as well.


So, times have definitely changed when it comes to “The Decision”. What doesn’t change over time is the importance of building relationships with your families over their discernment process. Your thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and effective communication can only help you bring them into the family.

So, the question is, what are YOU doing on #DecisionDay? Post some fun ideas below for the community to share.


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