Higher Education and the Mobile Revolution: How Texts Make Better Schools and Students


Student Receiving a Text Message from their SchoolTen years ago, text messaging’s role in the classroom was a head scratcher. These days, however, it is a no brainer. College campuses nationwide are joining the mobile revolution as they realize that it is the best way to reach their students.

Texting is More Effective Than Email, Phone Calls, or Snail Mail

Make a phone call and a student is unlikely to answer. But send a text, and there’s a 99% chance a student will read it. Mail a letter? Many college students don’t even know where to pick up their mail! But send a text, and a student will be 40 times more likely to respond to you than if they received an email. The numbers are in, and texting wins by a landslide.

Texting Keeps Kids in School

Harvard researchers published a 2013 study illustrating how texting increases enrollment. The study explains how low-income students are at higher risk of summer melt, decreased enrollment, and dropping out after the first semester. With the help of text messaging, these youths–whose financial hardship and lack of resources contribute to their difficulty establishing contact with their colleges–managed to overcome situational obstacles with the help of text messaging.

Texting Makes Better Students

Additional research suggests that texting can help students focus academically. Text messages reminding students of important academic dates, helping them register appointments with guidance counselors, and offering one-on-one academic support all help students stay on the ball. Because texts are short, private, and immediately accessible, they can intervene before a student has drifted too far off the academic path.

Many Universities Already Text Their Students

Universities nationwide are embracing the mobile revolution. Saint Mary’s College in Texas, for example, has implemented a system where students can text to enroll in classes. Minnesota State University uses texting to help students who are struggling academically. And the University of Virginia offers application support through text messaging. All of these methods have helped keep classrooms full at a time when college admissions have dropped for the first time in 15 years.

The Possibilities Are Endless

College enrollment, grade improvements, and staying connected with student services are just a few of the advantages of higher education texting. Consider the range of activities that a text message campaign can be used for—textbook rentals and returns, last-minute schedule changes, and even student rallies—and you can see why the mobile revolution is not just here to stay, it’s changing the face of higher education for the better.

If you’d like to learn more about implementing a text message program at your higher education institution, please contact us at sales@mobilecommons.com.

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