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Text Your Students, It's What They Want

by Sahil Mehra | August 8, 2017
Text Your Students, It's What They Want

There's a lot you want your students to do: complete their college applications, finish their FAFSA forms, submit their housing registrations, etc. But have you thought about what your students want from you? Here are a few things students want, along with some tips to help you help them. 

Text your students. That's what they want.

Let’s look at a scenario: A student texts in “Hey, where can I pick up my cap & gown for commencement?”

How not to respond: “Have you looked at the commencement landing page? It’s here: www.college.edu/graduation.”

How to respond: “Hey, you can pick it up at Sub Hall, room 203. There’s more information on commencement here: www.college.edu/graduation.”

There’s no need to play games with or quiz the student. Students are already overwhelmed with classes, sports, and clubs on campus. It’s best that you answer their questions directly and direct them to available resources.

Students want you to respond.

Texting is quick. When you text a student, you should be ready to quickly respond. It takes 90 seconds for a person to respond to a text message. Don’t leave your students hanging.

Students want relevant information.

Students are already overwhelmed by all the information coming their way, so why send them information that has nothing to do with them? Send them pertinent information to keep them engaged and help them out. Where can you find all this relevant information? In your student information system, of course!

Students want you to text like an adult.

Let’s look at two more scenarios:

What students don't want: “Hey, dis is ur cnslor. Pls fnsh the schlrshp app 1 pm tmr. Thnx!”

What students do want: “Hey Mary, it’s your counselor, Mark. Please finish the scholarship app by 1 pm tomorrow. Thanks!”

The first response isn’t “cool” or “hip,” so refrain from going crazy with abbreviations. College students are adults, so communicate with them as adults.

Most of all, students want to communicate via text.

You're already way ahead of the game in giving students what they want if you're texting them. The important thing to remember is that students want to benefit from texting just as much as you do, so don't forget about students' needs when planning your texting strategy.

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