Text Messaging for Colleges and Universities [Infographic]

text messaging for colleges and universities-

More and more institutions are turning to text messaging for colleges and universities to reach their students, and it’s no surprise why. With the summer semester right around the corner, universities are looking for a better way to reach their incoming students.

Email used to be the gold standard for communicating with students, but it often yields some unimpressive results (ie: only a 22% read rate). That’s why schools are turning to the most used form of communication for students: text messaging.

Here are some eye-opening SMS statistics from the infographic below:

  • 59% of students say a college can text them first with information.
  • 91% of teens with cell phones actively text.
  • 77% of students want relevant information from colleges via text
  • About 50% of adults 18-24 say text conversations are just as meaningful as a phone call.
  • Text messages are read (on average) in under 5 seconds.
  • 84% of students said text reminders helped them remember college events and activities.
  • 91% of adult students have a cell phone within arms reach 24/7.
  • 86% of students use texting as a way to communicate in class.
  • 95% of students bring their phones to the classroom.
  • 91% of texts are opened within 3 minutes.
  • Texting is 10x faster than phone calls.

Here’s some more information on how text messaging for higher education can help universities foster a better educational experience:

Ensure That Class Enrollment Deadlines Are Met

College life is more hectic than ever, so today’s students are often struggling to meet their many deadlines. But no need to worry, text messaging is the best way to send students important reminders like enrollment deadlines.

If you post a text keyword on advertisements throughout your entire campus and registration materials, you can easily get the contact information of interested students that text that keyword in.

With automated text reminder campaigns, you can set a schedule of reminders to be sent when they are needed, and they can be sent at predetermined times.  

For example, if a student texts into the “CHEMISTRY” keyword, they can be automatically sent the link to the schedule for the upcoming semester’s schedule of chemistry classes. You can then send monthly text alerts to remind students to register for their chemistry classes on time so they can make sure they get their desired schedule.

Send Text Reminders of Required Books and Materials

By posting keywords in their syllabus, professors can allow students to sign up for alerts for that specific class, and they can organize all of their students into different distribution lists depending on their class time. This means you can send students in your Monday/Wednesday classes updates that a class was cancelled, but not sending the same message to Tuesday/Thursday classes.

In order to make sure the first day runs smoothly, professors can send a quick text to each of their classes to make sure they have the right materials and books for their first day. It can take weeks for students to get their books, so the sooner you prepare your students the more successful your classes will go.

A Lot of students will not even look at their syllabus until they are in their first class, so it’s best to send them an MMS picture message with the needed materials. With a read rate of 98%, sending your students the class syllabus via an MMS message will ensure they are familiar with the curriculum.

Send Text Messages to Get Students Engaged in Campus Life

New students can be easily overwhelmed when arriving for their first semester, so they are often unfamiliar with things like campus events or registering for the right classes. In order to make sure students successfully adapt to college life, you can send them a SMS message welcoming them to the campus and send things like links to the academic calendar and make sure they know of things like counseling services.

Send SMS Reminders For Sporting Events

Most students want to be involved in campus life, but it can be hard to find things they will be interested in, especially for new students. By sending mass text reminders for things like upcoming sporting events, you can make sure your facilities are full and that student engagement will be maximized.

You can make it so students can text to confirm if they will attend so you can make sure your facilities can accommodate your crowds. As a result, student engagement and satisfaction will be as high as possible.

If you want to make the most of you student engagement efforts, you don’t need to just used texting. Instead you should use a SMS platform that has multi-channel messaging capabilities. This allows you to announce upcoming events across channels like social media, text, email, and voice messages.

Broadcasting on multiple channels will ensure that your important announcements are seen and that your attendance to events will be much higher.

Alert Students of Class Time Changes and Cancellations

Communicating between counselors and students can be challenging. Students often don’t know about things like updates on their majors, class schedules, and other relevant academic news. Two-way texting can help staff and students carry out conversations in real time, allowing them to answer questions as they come up.

One aspect of university life that can catch students off guard is when a professor cancels a class last-minute. By sending a text announcement that a class is cancelled, you can be sure that students are aware of any cancellations before they are inconvenienced. This is especially useful for students who commute, as they might make an unnecessary trip to campus.

Engage Your Students with SMS Text Messages

Improving how your university engages with your students is predicated on collecting good feedback.

Sending out SMS surveys allows you to get much more feedback, as they are over 750% more likely to fill out a survey sent via text message opposed to paper surveys. This means you will get enough information from students to make a greater impact on how you engage with them and plan events that make the best use of your facilities.

Address Critical Situations and Send Immediate Alerts via Texting

Keeping staff and students safe during a critical situation is vital for your university to foster a safe learning environment. Texting is the fastest and most reliable way to communicate across campus during a critical situation, as 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of sending. A message can be sent to all staff and students at once, making it lightyears faster than calling students or staff. When the situation is critical, seconds matter, so using the quickest form of communicating will help you better ensure campus safety.

The Yes/No functionality of texting can help you get an accurate count of who is safe and who   may be in danger. By simply sending a mass message asking if they are okay, and if they reply “Yes” their response will be recorded and they will automatically receive a message to stay away from campus. If they reply “No”, you can ask for their location and quickly communicate that information to the authorities.