Can text message nudges improve academic outcomes in college?
Drs. Ben Castleman and Katharine Meyer released a working paper in July that detailed their work with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to provide college counseling through Signal Vine’s text messaging platform. The text messages provided simplified information, encouragement, and access to one-on-one advising to college students throughout the state of West Virginia. Students who participated in the texting campaign (especially low-income students) completed more freshman year credits than similar students who were not part of the program.
Dr. Paul Hill, the Chancellor of the Commission, said, “The text messaging project is showing great promise as an innovative and low-cost method for boosting course enrollment and college retention rates. As we strive to meet our goal of doubling the number of degrees we produce by 2025, we will look to creative strategies like this to ensure that more of our students graduate on time.”
Are we surprised that the project is showing great success? Not one bit. Getting students to college is tough, but getting students through college can be even harder. Texting creates a direct channel to the resources students need to be successful throughout college.
Read the full working paper.