If you’re reading this, you likely already know that texting is a powerful tool for student engagement. But what about parent engagement?

It turns out that texting is just as effective, if not more so, with parents. The College OPTIONS program measured the impact of their texting program with parents. Read on to learn about the program’s success.


The College OPTIONS program creates a college-going culture in Northern California and provides information to students about opportunities to pursue post-secondary education. Staff focus on improving parent engagement and increasing awareness of scholarships and the steps that need to take place throughout high school.

While the program successfully encouraged a college-going mentality in students, the parental engagement was still missing. Teachers, administrators, students, and parents agreed that email communication with parents wasn’t working.


Over the course of 7 months, College OPTIONS sent text messages to parents of 11th and 12th-grade students at Central Valley High School. The text messages helped parents understand and ask questions about college readiness tasks like scholarships, FAFSA, financial aid award letters, SAT/CT, grants, and summer trips. More than 6,000 messages in total were sent. Parents took a survey at the end of the program to see if their knowledge of college prep tasks had improved.


As a result of getting support via text message, parents felt substantially more confident about their knowledge of their students’ pre-college steps. The results were most significant for the parents of 12th graders, who had lots of questions and were most responsive to incoming text messages.

Many tasks – like financial aid – require parental involvement. Providing parents with tools to help students at home increases parental involvement and confidence. Empowering parents to take a more involved role in their child’s college application process ultimately benefits their children and gets more students to go to college.

See how College OPTIONS gets results.

Download the Case Study