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uAspire: Interventions to Increase Student Success

College Access
Customer Since:

Since the summer of 2012, uAspire uses Signal Vine to implement a text-based outreach service to students to support their transition from high school to college and throughout their first year of college. Randomized control trial evaluations completed by Dr. Benjamin Castleman and Dr. Lindsay Page have found:

  • Texting can be used to mitigate “summer melt”: Students who received texts during the summer after high school graduation were statistically significantly more likely to matriculate in college than those who did not.
  • Information provided via text can enable students to take necessary action: 86% of students reported that the texts prompted them to complete a task they hadn’t yet done, and 85% reported that the texts informed them about something they hadn’t realized they needed to do.
  • Students are receptive to ongoing text message support: Fewer than 3% of students opted out of receiving regular text messages at any point during the summer-long intervention.

Our Partnership & Impact

Across the summers of 2012 and 2013, uAspire sent 1-2 customized text messages per week to 2,200 recent predominantly low-income high school graduates using Signal Vine’s online text message platform. The texts were sent to students’ mobile devices and contained important information regarding affordability topics such as financial aid form deadlines, loan options, contact information for relevant offices at their higher ed institution, and the option of requesting a meeting with a uAspire Financial Aid Advisor.

The text message content was customized based on students’ intended institutions. Students were able to respond directly via text with their questions. The online platform organized responses by student, allowed advisors to text students back directly via the platform, and kept record of all student-advisor text message exchanges in an easily viewable format. uAspire advisors signed into the platform daily to monitor incoming student responses, answer questions and set up meetings.

Qualitative Student Survey Results

A follow-up survey to the students who received text messages during the summer between high school and college in summer 2012 revealed:

  •  86% reported that the texts prompted them to complete a task they hadn’t yet done.
  • 85% reported that the texts informed them about something they hadn’t realized they needed to do.
  • 70% reported that texts helped make the tasks to enrollment less overwhelming.
  • 72% responded that the texts caused them to reach out to uAspire for follow-up help.
  • 84% responded that overall, they found the texts useful in helping them get everything done for college.

uAspire’s uses Signal Vine for:

  •  Scaling Efficiently & Personalized Impact
    Texting via Signal Vine is an incredibly cost-effective and scalable solution – a single advisor can handle a caseload of up to 1,000 students all over the country, compared to up to 300 students in only one city via more traditional in-person advising.
  • Immediate Responses & Progress
    Texting greatly reduces the time necessary to get in contact with students. Students are more responsive to text-based communication than phone calls, voicemails or emails, and we’ve found we can make progress on important college-related tasks via a text-based conversation.
  • Flexible, Adaptable Partners & Platforms
    Throughout our work together, the Signal Vine team and platform have been flexible and adaptable to meet our evolving needs.

uAspire Real Texts

Erin Cox, President

Partnering with Signal Vine has expanded and transformed the way we provide high-quality support to our students! Their texting platform allows us to meet students where they are at – on their phones – with ongoing, personalized communication. Their platform is easy and efficient to use, enabling me to stretch limited staff resources to serve thousands more students in a personal and high-quality way, especially those in postsecondary programs located all over the country.

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