Students deciding their future

National decision day celebrates, sets deadline for seniors’ college decisions


Ali Norris

Senior Kamerin Maddix records a student for the Roosevelt decision day video.

While many see National College Decision Day as a day to celebrate the college decisions seniors have already made, it is also a deadline for many undecided seniors to accept the offer from the school they plan to attend in the fall.
“May 1 is the deadline for seniors to pick their college,” colleges that change lives .org said. “For many seniors, they are facing the single biggest decision of their lives. Each school has its pros and cons and it soon becomes clear that, while the options may be exciting, as in life, nothing is perfect.”
Senior Bella Bitner is one of many students that are still undecided about which school she will attend in the fall.
“For a long time I was set on going out of state to Florida for school,” Bitner said. “But I am now trying to make the decision between staying in state and going away.”
If she stays in Michigan, Bitner will attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn with plans to transfer to Ann Arbor after a year.
“Staying home is something I wasn’t considering until recently,” Bitner said. “The more I think about it the more benefits I start to see, like being close to friends and being able to travel home to be involved in community activities.”
If Bitner decides to attend school out of state she plans to attend school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“Going to school in Florida will definitely give me more of the typical college experience,” Bitner said. “I will be far from family and on my own, and that may be something I want.”
Bitner is not alone in this decision, many other students change their minds during senior year about where they will attend college.
“Students also seem to prefer colleges that are closer to home when they reach the senior year in high school,” Mark Kantrowitz, a reporter for The Washington Post said. “The percentage shifted from 34 percent as high school freshmen to 47 percent as high school seniors.”
Not only is Bitner unsure of where to attend school, she is also not set on what she will study in the fall.
“I have changed what I want to do quite a few times in the last year,” Bitner said. “For a while I wanted to be a lawyer, then I was thinking about engineering, now I’m not exactly sure about what I want to do.”
As the deadline approaches, Bitner admits that the pressure to make a decision is getting more stressful for her.
“This is a decision that will impact the rest of my life,” Bitner said. “Having to make that big of a decision by a specific deadline is extremely stressful as a seventeen year old.”
Bitner is not the only high school senior who has not decided on what their major will be in college.
“An estimated 20-50% of students enter college undecided, while an estimated 75% report having changed their major at least once,” the University of Bridgeport said on
Although the deadline for all schools’ decisions is May 1st, many students will make their choice before the deadline.
“I’ve known for a while that I wanted to go to U of M Ann Arbor,” senior Joshua Tracy said. “So, the second I got the acceptance letter I took all the steps to accept the offer right away.”
Not only has Tracy and many other RHS students accepted their offer to the school they will attend, they have also taken the next steps that come with accepting an offer from a college.
“As soon as I accepted my offer I started on other things that I have to do in order to go to U of M in the fall,” Tracy said. “I filled out my housing application, started looking into supplies, and looked at my financial aid offers.”
Although Tracy and any other first year students attending the University of Michigan have until May 1 to make their decision Tracy decided to accept early because of other university deadlines.
“The housing application is due on May 6, only five days after decision day,” Tracy said. “I wanted to make my decision early so that I don’t have to worry about not getting stuff like my housing application turned in on time.”
Although some students know their plan for the future and some are undecided, National College Decision Day is a day to celebrate everyone’s plans for the future.