5 Reasons You Should Be Texting With Your Students

Are you still trying to reach your students by email, or worse, by phone?

It turns out, actual phone calls are going the way of the carrier pigeon – nearly 3 out of 4 Gen Z and Millennials prefer to connect by text message. And while some things have to be communicated by email, there’s a good chance you’ll be competing with a full inbox, while timely engagement is critical when supporting students along the college journey.

Here are five reasons college success advisors should connect with students over text.

1. There’s a good chance your students are looking at their phones. (Like, right this second.)

The first generation of digital natives is making its way to college campuses, and given that Americans look at their phones nearly 50 times per day, it’s probably fair to assume their phones are within arm’s reach. Contacting them on the channel they prefer makes it more convenient for them to engage, increasing response rates and opening lines of communication. That makes it possible for you to provide support when and where it’s needed.

2. Students are busy. Texting is quick and easy.

Nowadays, we may be always connected, but that doesn’t mean we always have the wherewithal to respond to a 50-question survey! As soon as your student decides to come back to it later, the odds they’ll respond at all have plummeted. By text message, keep your ask short and sweet and it will be easy for students to fire off a quick response or take you up on that reminder. In one recent example, a one-question text survey helped Uplift Education identify students who hadn’t yet enrolled for college – in time to get them back on track.

3. The phone can be intimidating. Texting? Not so much.

Along the college journey, advisors are often supporting students when they are feeling most vulnerable – facing unexpected personal challenges, struggling academically, stressed about making ends meet. Students may feel embarrassed sharing these deeply personal and sensitive issues with an advisor in person or by phone, but they’re likely to be more comfortable texting. Make it less intimidating for students to ask for help, and you’ll increase the odds that they reach out for help.

4. Texting keeps your support top-of-mind.

Engaging in a two-way conversation by text message opens the door to future communications. Too many advisors know the disappointment of a student leaving school over an issue they could have helped resolve – if only they were aware of it. When students are struggling, it can make all the difference to know they have a support system just a text away.

5. Technology makes it easy.

Concerned about sharing your personal phone number? Worried about keeping up with text messages on top of emails, case notes, and plenty of other student information? We hear these concerns frequently from advisors, and there’s good news – our technology solves for all of them. GradSnapp has integrated text communications powered by Twilio so texting is managed through the platform, not through your personal phone number. And because it’s powered by GradSnapp, the text conversation is logged in the student profile, gathering everything in one place.

In our latest tally, we found that GradSnapp users have exchanged over 151,000 text messages through the platform. Because the best reason to connect with students by text message is simple – it works! It’s the perfect example of how technology can be used to support real human engagement. That means more students overcoming the inevitable challenges college throws their way.

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