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As colleges and universities prepare to welcome students back in the fall, these institutions must ramp up their marketing and outreach programs to attract more students. In addition, schools must combat the problem of “summer melt,” which occurs when recent high school graduates abandon their college plans at the last minute. Fortunately, TrueDialog’s higher education SMS text messaging solution offers powerful tools to overcome these challenges for colleges and universities.
Making an Impact on “Summer Melt”
Some high school seniors complete most college enrollment steps before their high school graduations. However, other college-bound students lag far behind. They procrastinate on enrollment and are discouraged by the high costs. During the summer, graduates no longer have access to high school counselors, and they don’t know that college counselors are available. For this reason, some students abandon their college enrollment and become casualties of the “Summer Melt” phenomenon.
Boosting Enrollment with Text Messaging
An effective SMS text messaging platform, such as TrueDialog’s Higher Education Text Messaging Solution, can help turn the situation around. Studies have shown that colleges that actively text students during the summer months see higher enrollment rates.
TrueDialog’s proprietary Cross-Code technology enables colleges to deliver mass text messages quickly to a large group of recipients for important notifications and deadline reminders. If students respond, the sender can seamlessly switch to one-to-one text conversations to quickly answer any questions and move the enrollment process forward without delay.
As prospective students explore their higher education options, colleges and universities can maintain an ongoing dialogue by consistently engaging students via text messages. According to University Business, communicating with incoming students via text message has led to an 11 percent increase in college enrollment.
Personalizing Text Communication at Scale
TrueDialog’s flexible text messaging platform is tailor-made for various types of student communications. For example, enrollment specialists can easily send mass application-related text notifications and segment their messages by integrating with the college’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
For example, an administrator can deliver a targeted message to students who have expressed interest in a specific major. When students respond with questions, multiple agents can join in and contribute to the conversation, leading to better-coordinated responses.
In conjunction with this personalized communication, text messaging is ideal for sending notifications about appointment reminders and document submission deadlines. Colleges can also automate reminder messages to prospective students, which can lead to higher registration conversions.
Texting to Ramp Up Student Retention Efforts
Keeping students on track with registration, class selection, and attendance can be a daunting task. College students can be easily distracted and are often masters of procrastination with tasks that they would rather avoid. Left unattended, these students might fade out of the college landscape, decreasing the school’s retention rates in the process.
Fortunately, TrueDialog’s Higher Education Text Messaging Solution can help keep student retention rates going in the right direction. During the registration period, enrollment specialists can send personalized text messages about class selection deadlines. College counselors can keep students focused via text message check-ins and offer extra support when necessary.
Student success specialists can send text message surveys to obtain valuable feedback from students. Because text message surveys are designed to be brief and easy to complete, they represent a valuable research tool that can be useful for making improvements to the enrollment process as well as other aspects of the student experience.
How TrueDialog Blends Technology and the Human Touch
Meeting higher education institutions’ distinctive needs requires a company with a solid foundation and powerful service capabilities. To meet the first requirement, TrueDialog has devoted resources to building direct carrier connections, reducing possible failure points along the communications path. TrueDialog also maintains an ISO 9001 cloud database that enables very reliable 99.9 percent uptime.
This high-level infrastructure powers the company’s proprietary Cross-Code technology. This versatile function enables a college enrollment specialist to use both short codes and long codes in a single text message thread. For example, the specialist can send a mass text message to a large group and quickly switch to a one-to-one exchange with a prospective student when a response is received. No other SMS platform offers this efficiency-driving capability.
Due to Covid-19, colleges and universities are seeing a dramatic decline in enrollment in addition to the effects of traditional Summer Melt. However, being more proactive with student communication by leveraging tools like text messaging, schools can overcome this challenge and build stronger connections with students to meet enrollment goals and improve retention.
TrueDialog serves hundreds of universities, including some of the largest public and private higher education institutions in the country. TrueDialog’s higher education text messaging solutions were built through years of collaboration working with large universities as well as smaller colleges to develop systems which allow team-based communication at scale with existing and prospective students. TrueDialog’s texting platform helps colleges and universities increase response rates, improve student satisfaction and boost enrollments.