Signal Vine Blog: Text Me Back

NCAN Members Use Texting to Combat Summer Melt

Posted by Miranda Palter on August 21, 2015
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This summer, the National College Access Network (NCAN), partnered with us to implement text-based outreach services to their member organizations to support their students’ transition from high school to college. 

The summer intervention draws from the lessons of applied behavioral economics research by Drs. Benjamin Castleman and Lindsay Page, which showed an 11% increase in matriculation when sending personalized text message “nudges” to students during the summer between high school and college. The program allowed participating organizations to opt students into a Summer Melt Campaign, with messages designed by NCAN and personalized to students’ college choices. 


The messages included information about topics such as financial aid, tuition bills, class registration, and freshman orientation, and the program allowed for students to text back and connect with advisors in real time.

Sixteen organizations and schools participated in the pilot, with a total of 2,827 students served. The program showed impressive results, with student engagement rates of 75% and an average response rate of 64% per message. Sixty percent of students showed high engagement rates, meaning they responded to a majority of the text messages from their advisors.


Because of the pilot's success, NCAN and Signal Vine are discussing ways to continue their partnership and services for members so that organizations can use text messaging engagement with all types of students, all year long.

Read NCAN's press release about the program here. 

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Topics: College Access, Summer Melt, Higher Education, Engagement