By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Along with email, texting continues to be one of the most popular and frequently used forms of communication by colleges and universities during a student’s search.
Part of following best practices and being student-centered is understanding at what point during the process students are comfortable receiving a text from a school.
One of the questions we ask in our ongoing Tudor Collegiate Strategies focus group surveys is, “At what point during your college search were you comfortable receiving text messages from a college or university?”
Over the past 18 months nearly 3,000 students have provided their input.
- 10.7% said after they visited a school
- 26.4% said after they applied to a school
- 29.6% said after they were admitted to a school
- 26.7% said they were fine receiving texts at any point
- 6.6% said they never wanted colleges to text them
My recommendation based on this data, as well as additional past and present partnership work TCS has done with numerous colleges, is that admission and EM teams utilize texting primarily with applicants, admits, and deposited students. When it comes to outreach with prospects, inquiries, and underclassmen, concentrate your efforts on email and direct mail.
Having said that, I do encourage admissions counselors to directly ask senior inquiries (particularly those who have visited campus) what their preference is and then note it in the CRM.
An additional piece of important context – If a prospective student-athlete is being recruited by a coach, the majority are comfortable (any many actually prefer) a text to initiate early conversation with the coach…but again not with their admissions counselor.
Besides texting with reminders, a status update, or words of encouragement, a text can also be an effective way to schedule a phone call or alert a student to an email you previously sent.
And finally, texting can be a great way to help counselors gauge how a student is feeling about something and deepen the level of trust that already exists. Just be sure and avoid asking questions that can be answered by “yes” or “no.” Those short responses often have no follow up and don’t help you learn anything about a student’s mindset. Instead, ask short, direct and open-ended questions like “How are you feeling about your college decision?”
If you’re looking for even more texting tips and strategies, click this link to access all the related articles I’ve previously written.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.