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Southwestern Michigan College: Increases Admissions Yield


Enrollment:
2500
Type:
Community College
Location:
Dowagiac, MI
Customer Since:
2017

Overview

Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) is a dual-campus community college that enrolls approximately 2500 students. In the spring of 2017, the Admissions department began using Signal Vine to increase their student engagement throughout the admissions cycle.

Challenges

Like many other community colleges, SMC was looking for an effective communication channel that would streamline their conversations with applicants and increase their yield and retention rates on campus. Prior to using Signal Vine, SMC already knew that texting was the most effective way to reach their students and had been utilizing another texting platform. However, after facing limitations, they decided to look into other providers that would allow them to use their student data more effectively to increase the relevance and personalization of their messages. They found that sending mass, unpersonalized messages led to students feeling disengaged and disconnected from the institution, and it was too time-consuming for staff to do the work of targeting messages that a more advanced platform would be able to do for them.

Implementation

To address these challenges, SMC made the switch to Signal Vine so that they could better personalize and target their text messages at scale. Prospective students provide a mobile number on their application and choose to opt in to receive texts throughout the admissions cycle. Students can also find their recruiters’ Signal Vine texting number on recruiters’ business cards or on the admissions website. By utilizing these different channels, SMC has been able to increase the number of students they communicate with throughout the admissions cycle. Students receive texts once they’ve submitted their application and are provided with an outlet where they can turn to ask questions throughout the admissions process. SMC sends texts reminding students of upcoming deadlines and also informing students where they can find the proper resources to complete their tasks. SMC also uses student data to target the right messages to the right students. For example, recruiters will use the platform’s advanced search capability to reach out to students from certain high schools when they’ll be visiting their school.

Results

As the academic year began in the fall of 2018, Southwestern Michigan College was able to see measurable results from their texting program. Admissions leaders measured a 6% increase in admissions yield for students that were in the texting program using the Signal Vine platform.

Mike O'Brien, Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management
Southwestern Michigan College

Texting has opened more doors for engaging with students than any other channel we've used. Being able to communicate with students in their preferred form of communication is a huge advantage

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