10,000 Degrees: Improves Counselor-Student Conversations
10,000 Degrees is an access and success nonprofit focused on helping students in the North Bay from low-income backgrounds access, enroll and successfully complete college. The organization’s programming focuses on increasing the number of students who matriculate, college planning, helping students apply for state and federal financial aid opportunities, and encouraging attendance at college-focused events. Their ultimate goal is to get students to graduate college. 10,000 Degrees uses Signal Vine to facilitate communication between staff and counselors and the high school and college students they serve.
As its programs expanded, 10,000 Degrees struggled to continue providing support to students. 40 full-time staff support over 6,200 students and families. More students meant more staff were needed. As the organization grew, it became clear that it needed a more efficient way for staff to communicate to continue providing support to students.
Students provide their contact information when they apply to a 10,000 Degrees program. This information is immediately added to the text messaging platform, which the organization has used since 2015. An average of 1,600 students are served over text each year by 20+ counselors. Staff use student information to create personalized text messages that are targeted to specific groups of students based on need. Staff members always keep the Signal Vine platform open in a tab on their computers because they use it so frequently to communicate with students.
10,000 Degrees uses Signal Vine to maintain the high level of support they had when they were a smaller organization. The number of students who began at a community college then transfer and graduate with a Bachelor’s degree are at almost 3x the national average. Staff report that students are most responsive to less robotic language and shorter messages.
Students often asked questions about FAFSA, new systems like student portals, and what to expect at college. Younger students want to know more about the internal workings of college, while older students usually have more specific advising concerns. The highest engagement and response rates were for text messages related to FAFSA forms and upcoming deadlines.
10,000 Degrees alumni benefit from personal support, academic counseling, and financial aid assistance as they navigate to and through college. The program works – here are some powerful statistics about college grads:
- 86% of 10,000 Degrees four-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% nationally.
- 10,000 Degrees students take our smaller loans than the national average.
- 10,000 Degrees college alumni are more likely to vote, more likely to volunteer and earn over $1 million more in their lifetimes.
Signal Vine reinforces what we already knew: texting students is the most effective way to reach them.
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Request a demo to speak one-on-one with a Signal Vine team member.