College student text messaging

Like most schools, you probably  use email, Facebook, and Twitter to communicate with students. Whether you’re sending out a crime alert, upcoming payment reminder, or promoting an on-campus event, these three channels are the most widely used forms of communication amongst colleges and universities. Why do you think that is? Is email really the best way to reach college students in a moments notice? What about Facebook? Twitter?

According to experts, there’s an even more effective way of contacting and being contacted by students – the text message.

Why SMS?

  • 99% of college students own a cell phone (source: Magna Publications).
  • 97% of those cell phone owners utilize text messaging (source: Pew Research Center).
  • 98% of text messages are opened and read within minutes, whereas 88% of emails are never opened, 84% of Facebook newsfeed items aren’t viewed, and 71% of tweets are ignored (source: Mogreet).
  • Text Messaging is a cost-effective, efficient way of reaching any student, anywhere, at any time.

 What can you use it for?

Colleges and universities can utilize text messaging for:

  • Emergency Alerts – An emergency SMS broadcast system is essential for college campuses. With SMS, last-minute messages can be sent out and read by students, staff, and faculty within minutes. With email or any other communication channel, messages may not be read for hours, days, or even weeks. Examples of emergency alerts could include: safety alerts, on-campus crime alerts, and weather alerts.
  • Reminders – With text message reminders, students can effectively be notified of upcoming deadlines. An SMS reminder could read: “Hi Tom, please return your BIO 100 book to the student bookstore by Friday, November 22.” Other examples of reminders include: scheduling reminders for class registration, payment reminders for tuition, and any other approaching due date reminder.
  • Event Notifications – Event notifications make students aware of future events or last-minute gatherings that take place on or around campus. These types of text messages could potentially increase attendance at events. Examples of event notifications could include: career fairs, sporting events, and upcoming volunteer opportunities.
  • Campus Deals – Who doesn’t love a good deal? Especially a college student on a budget. A recent study of the mobile habits of college students found that 9 out of 10 respondents used their devices to check for deals, coupons, and specials (source: eMarketer). Examples of campus deals could include: bookstore coupons, promo codes, and discounts.
  • Student Interaction – Text messaging solutions for colleges and universities can build community, encourage student participation, and increase interaction. Examples of student interaction could include: student satisfaction surveys, voting for campus elections, and contests via text message.
What problem does it solve?

Text messaging can…

  • Increase open and read rates of messages
  • Increase communication between the college or university and student body
  • Get your desired message across instantaneously
Michael Hanley, director of Ball State University’s Institute for Mobile Media Research, says that it is important to “have the most instantaneous message delivery on a college campus, and that is by far text messaging.” SMS makes perfect sense for colleges and universities who wish to distribute vital information to students, faculty, and staff at the very moment it is necessary (and often at short notice). What other communication channel boasts a 98% open rate within minutes? For colleges and universities, communication is key, and SMS is the most effective way to improve communication.
Think your school can benefit from text messaging? Visit and sign up for a free trial today.