Center for Strategic Communication

Today the First Lady is celebrating National College Signing Day in New York City at the Harlem Armory to make sure every student in America takes charge of their future by continuing their education past high school — whether at a professional training program, community college or a four-year college or university.

She’s joined by dozens of actors, actresses, comedians, athletes, and others to highlight this important day. Melissa McCarthy, Jay Pharoah, Julianna Margulies, Carmelo Anthony, Alessia Cara and more will all be there to celebrate the real stars of today’s event: the high school seniors who have made the commitment to go to college. As the First Lady has said: 

If we want to truly lead the world again in terms of young people with a college degree, we should celebrate students going to college the same way we celebrate athletes and celebrities. Education should be that important for every single person in this country.


Signing Day

This year we will have over 1,000 College Signing Day events in almost all 50 states — because education deserves to be celebrated. So the 4,000 seniors attending our event in Harlem are in for a treat, along with thousands of seniors around the country.

Each year has been more and more exciting. Two years ago, on May 2, 2014, we launched the First Lady’s “Reach Higher” initiative at a College Signing Day rally in San Antonio. The entire community of San Antonio came together wearing their college gear and we were there to cheer them on. We heard of a few events like this around the country, but San Antonio’s was especially unique. As a city, San Antonio decided that it needed to increase college completion, and College Signing Day was one key strategy to doing just that. The whole community, young and old, came together as students let their colleges know where they were planning to attend on this traditional May deadline. It was a week’s worth of activities culminating in a community rally for the high schools’ seniors.

Signing Day Detroit
The First Lady speaks at Detroit’s College Signing Day Event along with University of Michigan Football Coach Mike Harbaugh and singer-songwriter Ciara.

Last year, over 600 schools and communities answered the call to celebrate College Signing Day. #Reachhigher and #CollegeSigningDay were trending nationwide and students, celebrities, alums, and Americans around the country posted pictures to celebrate the importance of reaching past a high school education. The President even threw on his Columbia University shirt, and the First Lady spoke at Detroit’s first-ever citywide College Signing Day.

Today, you can help us lift up education by posting a picture in your college gear or colors with the hashtag #CollegeSigningDay and #BetterMakeRoom. And it’s not too late to host a College Signing Day in your school or community. Head to to download a kit and learn more.