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Tag: Education

It’s no surprise that the transition from high school to college is full of obstacles and unknowns. But what may come as a surprise is that the summer prior is the most significant period in the college-intending student’s journey, and it’s often the most overlooked.

During the time between confirming college acceptance and arriving on campus in the Fall, teenagers are faced with major responsibilities, decisions and tasks to complete the enrollment process. And as it turns out, universities are failing to bridge that very important last mile.

What is Summer Melt?

College-intending students who fail to show up on campus in the fall comprise a phenomenon known as the “summer melt”. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 20% of students who have committed to enroll “melt away,” with minority, lower-income and first-generation students being the most vulnerable.

If you’ve found that your university has been plagued the summer melt, fortunately there are tactics to keep students actively engaged and committed. Continue reading to learn why the summer melt matters, current melt statistics, and successful strategies that other universities are using to mitigate the phenomenon.

Top 3 Summer Melt Factors

There are many factors that impact a student’s ability to complete the last mile of the admissions process, but most commonly they boil down to the following:

1. Financial Burdens

The reality of just how much it costs to earn a degree begins to set in during summer months. Students begin to receive bills related to tuition, housing, and health insurance, and working through the logistics of setting up payment plans and budgeting for other costs can be overwhelming.

2. Lack of Support

After graduation, students support from high school staff naturally disappears. Also, not every student receives adequate support at home, and even parents who are involved may be just as overwhelmed by the process. During the summer, students are now tasked with paperwork and deadlines, many times without mentorship from there chosen university. To make matters more difficult, often times universities run on limited staff during the summer, so departments may be closed and support services may not be accessible when needed.

3. Transition Anxiety

Aside from all the logistics, it is common for students to feel emotionally unprepared to leave home. This apprehension may stem from family dynamics, but more often than not, students feel a lack of connection with their new school.

Top 3 Ways to Keep Students “Cool” During the Summer Melt

1. Go Mobile

According to Cappex, 77% of students do want relevant information from their university via text. Today’s average college student no longer uses email as their primary source of communication. In fact, open rates for emails have fallen to about 15%, where text message open rates are soaring at 99%. And 90% of these texts are read by the recipient in under three minutes. Texting college-intending students can simplify the process of sending task reminders, and improve students access to their academic information, as well as the overall relationship between the student and university.

2. Assign a School Counselor

Once a student has confirmed acceptance, they should be assigned a counselor to help them navigate through the entire enrollment process. If possible, universities should extend the counselors contracts to include summer months. Universities should also provide workshops for students and their families over the summer, or create a web-based portal to demonstrate how to complete certain tasks.

3. Build a Solid Community

Establishing a community where students feel at home at your university before they even set foot on campus will create a sense of loyalty. As a best practice, universities should start this process right after a student is accepted, which will even boost yield rates.

In order to encourage your students to start their college careers, your university has a big role to keep them on track during the summer. Research has proven that interventions do reduce the melt. In fact, Georgia State University was able to reduce summer melt at their university by 21.4% just by utilizing smart text messaging (click here to learn more about the study). Therefore, it’s worth the investment to put measures in place to close the opportunity gap at your university.

If your university is looking for a SMS text solution, click here to learn more about TrueDialog, the preferred platform for colleges and universities, and start your free trail today.

What will your university do to keep students “cool”?

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Give your digital marketing the ultimate treat this Halloween with SMS

The season of all things fun and spooky is upon us. A great way to get your customers in the spirit is incorporating SMS into your digital marketing strategy.

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to have some Halloween fun with text message marketing, including:

  1. How to boost your creativity and crush the competition
  2. How to speak to your target-market specifically
  3. Real examples from Halloween inspired marketing campaigns

Click here to read the blog post. From all of us at TrueDialog, we hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. If the thought of incorporating SMS into your business seems spooky, never fear! We’re here to make the process a little less scary. Click here to contact us.

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“Can I legally text my university’s students and alumni?”

If you’re wondering whether it’s legal to text as an organization, you’re not alone. In fact, the #1 reason why organizations are hesitant to SMS text is because they’re unsure of the legality.

In an effort to make the topic easier, we’ve invited communication law expert attorney, Adam Bowser, to host webinar, “Regulations to Know Before You Text”.

During this free presentation on November 15th at 2PM ET, Adam will break down the various levels of consent needed to text students and alumni.

You’ll learn:

  • The #1 question you should ask yourself before hitting “Send”
  • The legal categories approved for texting
  • When you need permission to text and when you don’t

Click here to learn more and register for TrueDialog’s webinar: Regulations to Know Before You Text.

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How to start preparing your university’s SMS Alert System for winter…

The leaves are just beginning to change colors in some parts of the country, but regardless of your location, we all know the threats posed by winter weather is around the corner. And for many universities, winter weather brings about new challenges in keeping students and faculty safe.

Fortunately, SMS provides a quick and convenient outlet for sharing alert notifications on weather-related closings, hazards on campus, and safety information.

Is your university prepared to implement a SMS Alert System this winter? Here’s a few tips to help:

  1. Ensure you have all contact phone numbers in your database. Remember, as a university, you’re legally allowed to send emergency notifications. For more information, check out our whitepaper, “Regulations to Know Before You Text.”
  2. Segment out your notification system. During certain campus-wide emergencies, everyone should receive an alert, but to help manage the crisis, different messages might need to be sent to certain groups. Spend time determining these groups now.
  3. Enable your SMS Alert System to work both ways. Students and faculty should be able to reach campus security during an emergency via text, so ensure everyone is aware of that and review the appropriate contact information with them.

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Plagued by Summer Melt? It’s time to re-vamp your student communications strategy…

It’s no surprise that the transition from high school to college is full of obstacles and unknowns. But what may come as a surprise is that the summer prior is the most significant period in the college-intending student’s journey, and it is often the most overlooked.

As many as one in five high school graduates who are enrolled in college “melt” during the summer months and don’t arrive on campus in the fall. If you’ve found that your university has been plagued the summer melt, read our blog post, ““Summer Melt”: How to Keep Students Enrolled in College.”

You’ll learn:

  • The top “melting factors” including financial burdens, anxiety, and lack of support
  • Tips for keeping students “cool” during the summer
  • The secret to using SMS to boost enrollment rates

To read the blog post, ““Summer Melt”: How to Keep Students Enrolled in College,” click here.

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How SMS Can Assist in the Safety of Students and Staff During a Large Scale Disaster

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the threat of Hurricane Irma has focused the attention of colleges and universities throughout the east coast.

Although the exact track of Irma remains uncertain, the importance of preparing an SMS/Text strategy for a large scale disaster cannot be overstated.

Here’s why:

Following large scale disasters, power and cell coverage is often compromised. Because of limited cellular bandwidth, SMS/Text will become the default form of communications. If your university is left with SMS as your only source of communication, will you be able to effectively share updates and ensure the safety of your students and staff?

Here are a few suggestions to help your university prepare:

  1. Send Text Preparedness Tips: Help your students and staff prepare by texting this Emergency Preparedness Checklist from Ready.gov.
  2. Execute Your Crisis Communications Strategy: Proactively send texts to all students, employees, and critical vendors/suppliers, to share news (such as school closings and evacuations) before, during and after the storm.
  3. Contact Reminders: Restate important phone numbers and departments on campus, as well as emergency contact information.

For more up-to-date information on Hurricane Irma, including the storm’s status, warnings and potential impact timing, click here.

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How to Keep Your Alumni Engaged After Graduation

Another graduation season is behind us, leaving institutions with a new job of building lasting relationships with their alumni. But with so many graduates going in different directions after earning their degrees, keeping a graduating class ‘together’ is challenging.

Fortunately, SMS provides not only simplicity, but an overall better way to keep up with alumni communications.

For inspiration on how to use SMS to engage with Alumni, read our blog post, “Text Message Updates for Alumni.”

Suggestions include:

  • Alumni event updates
  • Student and alumni news
  • Updating alumni information

Click here to read the full blog post, “Text Message Updates for Alumni.”

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Rules are Rules! What to Know Before You Text

If you’re wondering whether it’s actually legal to text as an organization, you’re not alone. In fact, the #1 reason why organizations are hesitant to send texts is because they’re unsure of the legality.

In an effort to make the topic easier to digest, we’ve asked communications attorney and TCPA expert, Adam Bowser, to host a webinar, “Texting – Higher Ed Regulations & Best Practices”.

During this encore presentation on June 21st at 2PM ET, Adam will cover texting rules and regulations, and share practical tips for texting your contacts.

You’ll learn:

  • The #1 question you should ask yourself before hitting “Send”
  • The 4 legal categories approved for texting
  • When you need permission to text and when you don’t

Click here to learn more and register for TrueDialog’s webinar: Texting – Higher Ed Regulations & Best Practices.

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One of the major indicators of success for universities and colleges is student retention. Out of all the first-time, full-time students that enrolled in a 4-year university in fall 2012, 20% didn’t return for fall 2013 (NCES). One of the main reasons students don’t return in the fall is lack of student engagement due to poor communication. Notification emails are effective but, may go unchecked for quite some time. However, SMS can aid in boosting retention rates for many universities by maintaining a direct line of communication between student and university.

SMS for Deadline Remindersstudent engagement, sms solutions, university alert system, university sms

In all the hustle and bustle of everyday student life, it is easy for important deadlines to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, missing important deadlines can drastically affect whether or not a student returns for another semester. Although email is still the preferred method of communication among many universities, it doesn’t boast the immediacy that SMS has. 90% of all texts are opened within 3 minutes, a drastic change from the 47 minutes it takes for 90% email response.

By using a basic SMS campaign, reminder texts can be sent out to students. Since these texts are more likely to be read than email, more students will be better prepared for upcoming deadlines. When students keep up with these important dates, like FAFSA or enrollment deadlines, they are better prepared to return for another semester.

360 Degree Student Engagement

Student engagement goes beyond communications between students and the university. Many university students do more than just study, they also engage in many different activities. SMS can keep students engaged both in and out of the classroom. Professors can utilize an SMS dialog campaign to facilitate class conversations while on-campus organizations, like alumni relations or Greek life, can send mass texts to keep members updated. Essentially, SMS can maintain 360 degree student engagement by simplifying communications from all aspects of student life.

 

Sources: Dynmark, The Atlantic

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SMS for universities is becoming a lot more commonplace. This is due in part to increased competition in higher education marketing and rising popularity of education technology (EdTech). This Thursday, May 5th, we will be hosting a webinar discussing the different ways SMS improves higher education experience for students, alumni, professors, and administration. Here are 4 reasons why you should attend.

1. Increase Enrollment

With approximately 5,300 colleges and universities in the U.S, competition to convert applicants into enrolled students is high. Learn who the new enrolling students are and how to use SMS to foster a relationship that leads to enrollment.

2. Improve In-Classroom Experience

Among college students, 86% own a smartphone and 52% own a tablet (Pearson Education).These devices can often be a distraction for students and a nuisance for professors during lecture. However, professors can learn how to utilize this mobile technology for their advantage to better in-class participation and communication.

3. Help Students Engage

One of the best aspects of student life is growing both a social and professional network of peers. However, many college elligible students miss this opportunity due to summer melt – a phenomena in which enrolled students fail to make it to school in the fall because they “melt” away during the summer. We’re going to be discussing ways in which SMS can help these prospective students stay engaged and college ready.

4. Keep Students Updated With Important Notifications

In the chaos of getting ready for college, it is common for important dates and alerts to slip through the cracks. Enrollment deadlines, orientation, and campus events updates are just a few things many incoming students have to remember. Having SMS for universities provides a cohesive notification system for instantaneous communications that keep students in the loop.

 

In addition to covering these topics in depth, we will also have a Q&A session at the end for any additional questions. Based on the great dialogue we had in our last webinar about EdTech, attendees of this Thursday’s webinar sure to receive a lot of insightful information. We hope to see you there!

Details and registration can be found here

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