College counseling by text messaging?
Is that really a thing?
Yes, it is, and the the results are promising! A study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia showed great potential for “improvements in students’ academic performance in college” as a result of methods such as text messaging. The article describes how the study’s principles are beginning to be applied.
But how? The article mentions 4 ways that texting can help increase college enrollment and retention.
“Applying for financial aid”
Applying for financial aid is a terrifying and daunting task for up-and-coming college freshmen. Applicants, especially those with no parental guidance, often have no idea how to go about getting loans or scholarships. They have never handled much money before and they need help working through the confusing financial aid processes.
Informational texts that help guide potential students applying for financial aid can be a huge help in getting people off on the right foot and nudging them to choose your college.
“Registering and preparing for college”
Once a potential student completes the financial aid process and selects a school, they still have to go through registration—another daunting step for young people who are stepping out on their own for the first time. Even if a prospect makes it through registration, they have to figure out orientation, enrollment, using the college’s online course management system, and a myriad of other overwhelming tasks.
You can use text alerts to break up registration and preparation into smaller chunks that are easier to follow. Simple encouragement and step-by-step instructions can make the overwhelming process more manageable.
“Connecting with resources and advisers”
Let’s say someone has made it through the financial aid, registration, and preparation processes and are now a full-blown student. How can you keep them engaged in their studies so that they don’t fail or drop out?
Sending out text alerts is an easy way to connect students with resources that can help them. You can send texts with information on how to get help on or off campus, and you can also provide them with advisers’ information for easy reference.
“Receiving counselor assistance”
One awesome benefit of texting is that it’s easy for the students to text back, which can be great for interactivity! If students need more one-on-one help, they can reply to your text alerts and a counselor can contact them.
This kind of interactivity can help make students feel valued and engaged and can increase the likelihood of degree completion.
The potential for texting in terms of its ability to increase college enrollment and retention is exciting. Why not give it a try?
Sign up for a text alert system to start improving your college now!