Decision Day Do’s and Don’t’s:

I can remember clearly that Friday, many years ago, when I got “the Letter” from the school where I really wanted ┬áto go. 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. It got me thinking about 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.
Let’s get to it:

Ok, here are some things you can do right away to make decision day a little bit easier 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 other program leader could make the difference between an enrollment and a “loss”.

3. Provide the platform

We all know how important social media is to spread and build our brands. 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 conversation in the community.

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

  • Use free services like, which allow you to create customized, free graphics for distribution
  • Plan out your hashtags and make sure you include them in your welcome packets. 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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