Case Studies Research Text Message

Case Studies

You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘Summer Melt.’

Did you know that Signal Vine was born out of the Summer Melt Research by Drs. Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page? Text messaging can have a significant impact on student outcomes. Explore a variety of case studies to see how texting can change outcomes.

Impact of Texting

Learn how text messaging improves campus-wide communications in a cost-effective way. 

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Case Studies by Type

Enhancing Institution-Wide Communication
The Community College of Vermont has implemented a streamlined communication strategy across all student-facing departments in order to support students across all campuses from the time they apply to the day they graduate.
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Matriculation and Enrollment
Improving Matriculation Rates and Reducing Summer Melt
Text messaging reminders sent to low-income students in the state of Massachusetts resulted in an 11% increase in matriculation and reduction in Summer Melt.

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Source: Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University

Increasing Enrollment at Two-Year Colleges
The Dallas Independent School District texted college-intending students and their parents about important tasks to complete before matriculating to college. Overall, the text messaging campaign increased enrollment at two-year colleges by over 5 percentage points and had pronounced impacts on low-income students.

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Source: Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University

Increasing On-Time College Enrollment 
A large-scale experiment that provided texts to students and parents with personalized information about enrollment tasks led to a 3.1 percentage point increase in on-time college enrollment.
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Source: Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness at the University of Virginia

Increasing Engagement, Participation and Enrollment with GEAR UP Students
Student mentors at Berea College text GEAR UP High School Juniors and Seniors in their Horizon Fellows service region to guide them through the college going process. Through Signal Vine, participation in the program has increased from 5% to 70%, and in the Class of 2017, 72% of these students enrolled in college with a retention of 90% for the spring semester.
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Increasing College Enrollment Rates
CollegeBound Foundation sends text messages to graduating high school seniors during the summer of their transition from high school to college. Students who receive texting support enroll in college at a 6% higher rate than those who do not receive the support.
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Source: College Bound Foundation

Supporting Low-Income Students at College Possible 
College Possible is a college access organizations that provides admissions and college success support to low-income students. College Possible texts incoming freshman from May through August as part of their Summer Melt campaign to help students stay on track to graduate.
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Source: College Possible

Connecting with Students at Eastern Ohio Education Partnership
Eastern Ohio Education Partnership is a network of organizations committed to providing children with a quality education. EOEP wants to decrease the gap between FAFSA completion and matriculation by 5% by 2020 in local school districts. They use texting to send strategic messages to high school seniors and first-year college students to work towards this goal.
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Source: Eastern Ohio Education Partnership

Increasing Student Engagement at Let’s Get Ready
Let’s Get Ready provides high school students from historically under-served communities and first-generation-to-college students with services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. Signal Vine and Let’s Get Ready teamed up to effectively reach students, relay information, and provide support while maintaining a personalized, one-on-one feel.
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Source: Let’s Get Ready

Summer Nudging at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s Summer Nudging program texts over 4,700 college-bound students to keep them on track for college enrollment in the fall. They have used Signal Vine’s text messaging platform since 2016 to reduce the rate of summer melt among all students in Minnesota.
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Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education

Persistence and Retention
Improving Persistence with Financial Aid Nudges 
Massachusetts community college freshmen received nudges around renewing the FAFSA and financing education. Recipients were nearly 20% more likely to persist into their sophomore year.

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Source: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia

Improving Academic Outcomes in College 
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission provides college counseling through SMS to students. Students participating in the texting campaign attempted and completed more freshman year credits than similar students who were not part of the text message program.

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Source: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia

Advising to Improve Persistence and GPA
Pellissippi State Community College advisors increase persistence by 10% by utilizing strategic text messages with Tennessee Promise scholars. 96% of students who receive at least three text messages are more likely to register for the spring semester. Students who engaged with their Pellissippi advisors via text message have higher GPAs (by 0.2-0.3 points) and are more likely than their peers to persist into the next semester.

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Source: Pellissippi State Community College, Dean & Provost

Encouraging Students Through College at The Urban Assembly
The Urban Assembly is a nonprofit organization that empowers underserved youth by providing them with skills necessary for postsecondary success. The Urban Assembly texts with high school graduates to keep students engaged and help them navigate postsecondary life.
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Source: The Urban Assembly

Maximizing Communication Productivity with 10,000 Degrees
10,000 Degrees is an access and success nonprofit focused on helping students in the North Bay from low-income backgrounds access, enroll and successfully complete college. They use Signal Vine’s text messaging platform to facilitate communication between staff and counselors and the high school and college students they serve.
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Source: 10,000 Degrees

First-Year Experience
Fostering Meaningful First-Year Relationships with Peer Mentors
Brigham Young University (BYU) connects incoming freshman with peer mentors to improve the first-year experience and deliver critical information via text message. The results are significant: BYU students who receive messages sent through Signal Vine’s platform interact with their peer mentor more frequently, report more value in having a peer mentor, and state that they have a stronger overall relationship with their peer mentor than the students in control groups.

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Source: Brigham Young UniversityNational Resource Center for the First-Year Experience

Supporting Retention Initiatives for First-Year Students
The University of New Mexico sends first-year students text messages to remind them of upcoming deadlines and due dates. More than 60% of students in the program engage with staff via text.

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Source: The University of New Mexico

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Helping Students Pay for College at Austin Community College
The Student Money Management Office at Austin Community College texts students to help them better budget their money throughout the semester. Staff noticed that more students applied for scholarships after asking questions via text message about specifics like essay length, GPA requirements, and whether or not they should apply.

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Source: Austin Community College

Encouraging College Persistence in The State of Louisiana
16,000 students across the state of Louisiana received text messages about scholarship opportunities. As a result, college retention and persistence rates increased.

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Source: The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistant 

Reducing Student Loan Defaults for High-Risk Borrowers
New loan applicants at the Community College of Baltimore County were sent texts to help them make more informed decisions regarding their student loans, leading to 20% declines in borrowing for certain segments of high-risk borrowing populations.

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Source: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia

Improving Persistence with Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges
Massachusetts community college freshmen received nudges around renewing the FAFSA and financing education. Recipients were nearly 20% more likely to persist into their sophomore year.

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Source: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia

Customized Nudging to Improve FAFSA Completion and Income Verification
Students in Delaware and Texas were texted personalized outreach and updates on FAFSA completion. Students served were more likely to complete the FAFSA, completed the FAFSA earlier, and were more likely to immediately matriculate.

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Source: Dr. Lindsay Page (University of Pittsburgh), Dr. Benjamin Castleman (University of Virginia), Katharine Meyer (University of Virginia) 

Nudging at a National Scale
450,000 high school seniors across the country received financial aid text nudges through the Common Application. The text messages gave students concrete steps to take to complete the FAFSA. Students were more likely to complete the FAFSA, with low-income students seeing the best results.

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Source: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia

Reaching Scholarship Recipients at The Ford Family Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation serves communities of Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation has a scholarship program that helps students pay for school. The staff uses Signal Vine’s texting platform to reach out to recipients with quick reminders and questions.

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Source: Ford Family Foundation

Engaging with Alumni at KIPP Philadelphia
KIPP Philadelphia is a college-preparatory public charter school that is part of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) network. Staff at KIPP Philadelphia text students who have graduated from the program. They nudge the students on topics like renewing the FAFSA and checking account statements.

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Source: KIPP Philadelphia

Staff Capacity
Increasing Staff Capacity Through Texting
uAspire implements text-based outreach services to students to support their transition from high school to college and throughout their first year of college.  With traditional in-person advising, one advisor could serve only 300 students. With texting, each advisor can handle a caseload of more than 1,000 students.

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Source: uAspire

Increasing On-Time Appointment Attendance
Academic advisers at Youngstown State University send automated data-triggered messages to schedule and confirm upcoming appointments. As a result, on-time attendance has increased by 23%.

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Source: Youngstown State University

Workforce Development
Engaging Students and Building Trust at The Door 
This Way Ahead is a program at The Door which provides comprehensive youth development services. The Door uses texting to cover a range of topics including setting up meetings, notifying students of bootcamps, and reminding them of workshops. As a result, they have seen significantly higher engagement rates.

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Source: The Door


Students are always on their phones. 97% of text messages are read, while less than 6% of students check email daily.


Imagine 70-90% of your students replying to your message. Organizations using Signal Vine experience these high student engagement rates.


With the support of scheduled text messages, staff capacity expands and the administrative burden is reduced by 60%.

Signal Vine in the News