During the school year, there always seems to be some task that's hanging over my head - and I think most students agree. Whether it's upcoming registration dates, financial aid deadlines, or class approvals, there's always some task that we as students need to complete - but for some reason, we just don't.
Signal Vine and uAspire have partnered since the summer of 2012 to support high school students throughout their transition to college using text-based outreach. This year, uAspire is participating in Silicon Valley Gives, an annual 24-hour marathon of giving. Their goal is to raise $40,000 to help their Bay Area students succeed through texting. The money will help all 1,115 of the high school seniors supported by uAspire get to college - that's only $36 per student!
Time and time again, we see students struggling to afford college tuition when universities fail to meet students' financial needs. A recent report by Steven Burd, a policy analyst at New America, revealed that this reccuring problem is now significantly affecting extremely low-income students. Burd has found that there are hundreds of schools that are expecting families who make $30,000 or less per year to pay more than half of their salary in tuition costs. A large portion of these schools appear to be private nonprofit colleges.
When I decided to study abroad in Barcelona last semester, I couldn't have been more excited. However, I quickly realized that there was a lot of preparation that needed to be done, and it took frequent communication with my advisor to get everything in order. There was a lot to keep track of: strict deadlines for my visa application, language placement tests, class registration, course approval forms, and so much more.
Spring is upon us, and you know what that means: National College Decision Day is almost here! May 1st is the deadline for college-bound students to make tough choices about where to enroll in college. By now, most students have submitted their applications and are anxiously waiting to hear back.
The next two months are a critical time for colleges and universities to process applications, get students excited about college, and ultimately enroll a brand new class of students. Text messaging students as they transition from prospect to applicant to admit eases the process for both sides. Before sending that first text, admissions offices should consider the following do's and don'ts of texting applicants:
Student retention is one of the most difficult tasks higher education institutions face in today’s competitive, information-heavy environment. It’s also one of the most important tasks, because retaining students improves long-term outcomes for both students and institutions.
Course registration, exams, financial aid, making friends - these are intimidating topics first-year students encounter when they arrive on campus each fall. That's why orientation and first-year programs are so important: these programs can be really effective at guiding new students through unfamiliar processes and connecting them to the people and resources they need to succeed at their new school. We reached out to Bryce Bunting, Associate Director of Brigham Young University's First-Year Mentoring Office, to learn more about BYU's approach to the first-year experience and how the program uses text messaging to address the unique needs of first-year students.
At Signal Vine, we love to talk about text. We’ve found that the best way to reach organizations and talk about the power of texting is to meet them where they’re at - education conferences! The past few months have been a whirlwind of traveling, presenting, and meeting awesome organizations around the country who want to better engage students with texting.
The #TextMeBack Tour led us to so many different areas of the education field, which goes to show just how flexible and impactful texting can be with all kinds of student behaviors and outcomes. Here’s a sneak peek into our experience traveling the country to learn about the latest trends in education:
This week marked a new milestone in the White House’s ongoin g eff orts to provide students with access to affordable postsecondary education. On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) intended to make the form faster and easier for students to file.
We could go on and on about all of the cool ways education organizations are using text messaging to improve student outcomes. Or, you can hear these success stories from the people who know them best: our customers! Welcome to our first ever Q&A post, where we sit down with our partner organizations to talk about text.
This week, we spoke with Chris Pinto, an Admissions Counselor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Chris uses Signal Vine to text prospective and admitted students throughout the application and enrollment cycle. Here's what he has to say about texting: