Admissions Texting: Confirmed Students
Texting confirmed students is a unique process. These students have chosen to attend your institution, but they are not quite your students yet. They have not officially enrolled in classes, and without proper guidance, they may fail to do so.
One unique challenge in texting confirmed students is the time of the year during which this typically happens: summer. For some students, particularly those who have just graduated from high school, summer means break time. They are used to distancing themselves from the stresses of school, putting their educations on hold until the fall. In the world of academia, this is known as summer melt.
It’s important to engage confirmed students during these months and keep them on track to becoming enrolled students. Staff can accomplish this feat with text nudges.
Helping confirmed students avoid summer melt
College staff are well aware of the necessary steps for students to enroll. Unfortunately, the tasks required confuse many students. Other students simply forget that deadlines occur throughout the summer months that are usually associated with a break. College staff can help confirmed students inch toward the enrollment process through texting.
Texting works well during this time frame for multiple reasons. First, staff can nudge students to remind them of the steps they have left to complete. Second, students can text back when they have questions about those steps. This helps to create the necessary two-way dialog so that students fully understand the steps they need to take and why they are important.
Check out the below conversation.
The first message targeted students identified on the Signal Vine platform as not having filed a FAFSA yet. This served as a nudge to encourage the student to file before the June 30 deadline. Then, the student posed a commonly asked question which the Virtual Advisor understood and responded to. Finally, the student said something that required a staff member to respond, so the message was flagged for attention. During this entire exchange, a staff member only needed to respond to one text, yet the student received valuable information to nudge her to file a FAFSA.
This nudge served as a great way to keep the student on track to enrolling. She mistakenly believed that she would be ineligible for aid due to her family’s income, and a staff member was able to intervene and provide direction. This puts the student, as well as all students who received this nudge reminder, one step closer to becoming enrolled.
In action: CollegeBound Foundation
The CollegeBound Foundation used the Signal Vine platform to text students in the Baltimore, MD, area to bridge the gap between their post-graduation summer and first semester of college. Foundation staff realized that while many students were being accepted to and deciding to attend colleges, nearly 30 percent of them were failing to enroll.
Over three summers, CollegeBound discovered that students receiving text messages and nudges related to college enrollment were 6 percent more likely to enroll in college than students who did not receive texts. Interestingly, staff reported that students were more likely to engage with them in the summer than during the school year. These engagement rates were 70 percent during the summer and 30 percent during the school year. Overall, 85 percent of students replied to text messages sent by the CollegeBound Foundation within 24 hours.
Texting confirmed students is a non-intrusive way to keep students on track during the summer months. Sending nudges to remind them of key deadlines helps them transition to becoming enrolled students.
In our last blog post following students down the admissions pipeline, we’ll progress through the funnel with a discussion of texting enrolled students.
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