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5 Ways to Advise Students Through Texting

by Rachel Hicks | October 28, 2019
5 Ways to Advise Students Through Texting

The great thing about a comprehensive text platform is that it can be scaled to meet the needs of higher ed staff. It’s common to see more than one department of a college or university use texting as a form of outreach. For instance, admissions staff use texting to help students make their way through the admissions funnel. Financial aid staff use texting to guide students through the sometimes tricky financial aid processes. Another use case consists of advising. Staff can advise students through texting to help them stay informed about their pathway to a degree.

Why it's effective to advise students through texting

The main reason why it's effective to advise students through texting is the same for why text message outreach works in general. Staff reach students where they already are: their phones. A full 100% of adults in the U.S. ages 18-29 own a cellphone. Likewise, 98% of people ages 30-49 own a cellphone. It makes sense to target outreach to students through a platform they have and use often.

Another reason why it's so effective to advise students through texting is because it eases advisor workloads. Instead of scheduling a face-to-face meeting to answer questions here and there, students can simply text to ask questions. At the same time, advisors can use texts to make announcements about dates to register for classes, deadlines, and note other important info.

5 ways to advise students through texting

With a bit of personalized outreach, advisors can connect with students via text and help them meet their goals. As a result of our partnerships with retention experts, we have compiled a list of 5 ways to advise students through texting:

  1. Invite students to ask questions
  2. Send reminders for important dates
  3. Help students access on-campus resources
  4. Provide encouragement
  5. Set up in-person meetings

We’ll talk about each of these points in detail below.

1. Invite students to ask questions

Simply, some students are shy about asking questions. They need a small nudge to open up and ask questions. College staff can provide this nudge by reaching out to students via text and asking if they have questions. In return, this will help students realize that the time is now to ask questions so they can get the help they need to do well.

advising students through texting

Without a doubt, many students will text the same questions. This is where Signal Vine’s Virtual Advisor tool shines. This tool will answers those frequently asked questions for advisors, freeing up their time to help students with more specific questions.

advising students through texting

2. Send reminders for important dates

Today’s students have a lot going on. Nearly all – 85% – of today’s students work while they go to college. Other students have intense class schedules and are involved in extracurriculars. Both types of students, and students in general, benefit from timely reminders. Sending these reminders through texts reaches students where they already are.

advising students through texting

3. Help students access on-campus resources

Many students shy away from asking for help when they need it. Some students simply don’t know that resources exist on their campus to help them. Others may be too shy to ask for help in person. Advising students through texting is a great way to solve both of these problems. Introduce them to the resources available to them. Most importantly, make sure students know that they can always reach out for help via text.

advising students through texting

Another great feature about Signal Vine that can help advisors make the most out of their outreach is the personalization that the platform allows. For example, advisors can use their CRM data to segment and target students using specific GPA or even class grade criteria to reach out to them with a personalized message with an exact resource that could help the student.

advising students through texting

4. Provide encouragement

Encouraging students is just as important as sending them deadline reminders. Reminding students that they have a support system at their college or university can go a long way. A well-crafted text of encouragement can also help give them the one last push they need to study hard and have a successful semester.

advising students through texting

5. Set up in-person meetings

Finally, advisors can use texting to set up in-person conversations when they’re needed. Advisors can easily schedule an automated text ahead of time whenever an in-person conversation will be needed. Further, advisors can encourage students to reach out via text whenever they feel an office visit would work best.

advising students through texting

Learn more

It's clear that texting helps advisors save time without sacrificing those needed conversations with their students. While texting saves time, AI-powered texting saves staff even more time by answering those questions that students ask over and over again. This frees up time for advisors to provide one-on-one support to the students who need it.

You can learn more about how advising students through texting can help you retain your students here.

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