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CollegeBound Foundation: Texting Reduces Summer Melt Rates


Enrollment:
2,200
Type:
College Access
Location:
Baltimore, MD
Customer Since:
2013

CollegeBound Foundation: Texting Reduces Summer Melt Rates

The CollegeBound Foundation provides college access services to select Baltimore public high school students. College Access Program Specialists (CAPS) from the Foundation create a college center at each high school to deliver these services to primarily first-generation, under-resourced students. The curriculum keeps students engaged and on track including ACT/SAT support, one-on-one college access advising, and college tours.

Challenges

Despite great communication and initiatives with Baltimore public high schools, CollegeBound realized that almost 30% of their students didn’t ultimately enroll in college, although they had been accepted and committed to a particular college in the spring. COVID added another level of complexity as the in-person services had moved online.

Plans & Process

CollegeBound began partnering with Signal Vine in 2013 to address the summer melt and improve the yield of students attending college as they originally had planned. CAPS collect cell phone numbers during the SAT registration process in the fall and send a letter to parents and guardians explaining the text messaging program and goals.

“Students tend to ignore things they don’t understand. We explain the why [of verification] and assist them through the process of it.  We do not stress about it because they have already been selected and we do not want to create an additional stressor for their college application process.” Stated Melisa Hypolite, Associate Program Director at CollegeBound Foundation.

“We are really consistent in our messaging and find the value in developing that relationship as early as possible. If we wait until the summer, some students will miss the window of opportunity.” Explains Marquise O’Neal, Associate Program Director at CollegeBound Foundation. “By starting in the summer prior to their senior year, we are able to show them value and guide them through the process.”

Results

From the period of 2014 to 2020, CollegeBound found that students who received texts were 19% more likely to enroll in college than those who did not receive texts. Additionally, they found an average enrollment difference of 22% per year of those who received texts and enrolled in college, versus those who didn’t receive texts and enrolled. Despite a 7.6 decrease in enrollment from 2019 to 2020, CollegeBound realized a 41.20 enrollment improvement for those who received texts.

Of those students who did receive texts, 90% responded within the first 24 hours, 85% responded in less than 4 hours, and 44% responded within just one hour. Only 10% of students who were texted had no response, and less than one percent of students opted out.

Conclusion

CollegeBound attributes their success to text messages customized to each students’ intended colleges and staff members commitment to responding within four hours. This is supported and supplemented by the students’ access to their CAPS being available in their offices for easy follow up and interaction.

Learn More

Looking to have results like CollegeBound? Get tips on creating engagement and learn best practices when it comes to texting high school and direct entry college students in our Texting with Teens Ebook.

Jimmy Tadlock, Program Director
CollegeBound Foundation

Signal Vine’s texting platform has been a key element in CollegeBound’s efforts to increase the rates that students matriculate to college.

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