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Another Year of Instant Decisions, Except this Time…Virtually

Every year Nutley High School holds an Instant Decision Day for eligible seniors to receive admissions and scholarships on the spot that day. This year’s Instant Decision Day was held on December, 3 accompanied by the participating colleges: Caldwell University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University, Stockton University, and William Paterson University. Students that participated  were each given an appointment to meet with a college representative live on Google Meet due to the pandemic. The representatives held a personal interview that reviewed the student’s application on the call. 


Instant Decision Day looked different than the past years since the pandemic has students learning virtually from home. This year’s seniors may not have gotten the chance to dress up professionally for an in-person interview at school, but were still able to benefit and succeed from the virtual event.  “All of the planning and preparation for the event had to be done online as well,”  Coordinator of School Counseling, Mrs. Meredith Gerckens explains. She explains that all the work, “from the registration forms, explanation of the event to students and the representatives, application submissions, training for students, and well as the day of,” was communicated virtually.


Though virtual, this did not stop the NHS counseling department from offering students help when preparing for this important day. Mrs. Gerckens shares that the counseling department, “held an Instant Decision Day Virtual Information session for students, a College Essay Virtual Writing Workshop for students with reps from Merrimack College, SUNY Oneonta, Alfred University Counselors and Teachers, a Resume Writing Workshop, an Interview Preparation Workshop for students, and included appropriately researching to prepare and also addressed virtual interview etiquette.”


Seniors who participated in Instant Decision Day prepared by attending these events to complete their application and feel confident in their interviews. Ms. Gerckens also explains that these events were posted on Schoology for those who could not attend. Along with the counselors writing letters of recommendation and also making sure to keep in consistent contact with their students. 


For the students at NHS, these interviews were a huge way to practice their interview skills and prepare for possible future interviews in their adult life. On a post- IDD survey, college representatives agreed that the event was well-organized along with the students being “very prepared” and “professional” during their interviews. One representative says, “One of the best Instant Decision Days that I have attended.”


Many seniors were successful in receiving instant admissions and scholarships this year even though it took place virtually from each of their homes.