NCAN Partners with Signal Vine to Combat Summer Melt

August 18, 2015
By Elizabeth Morgan, Director of External Relations

This summer, NCAN has collaborated with Signal Vine for the first time to provide a “summer melt” text-based outreach campaign that NCAN members can use with their students transitioning from high school to college. 

Sixteen member organizations and schools are participating in the pilot program, with a total of 2,827 students served at a cost of $5 per student over four months. The program shows impressive results, with student engagement rates of 75 percent and an average response rate of 64 percent per message. Sixty percent of students show high engagement rates, meaning they respond to a majority of the messages from their advisors. The pilot program will end with its final message to students on September 9.

“The Signal Vine/NCAN pilot has allowed us to better assist our students through the challenges they face by simply knowing there is an issue,” Marion Meadows of I Know I Can in Columbus, OH, said. “Students have shared their concerns in ways that we have previously been unable to identify through other communication forms.”

The summer intervention draws from the lessons of applied behavioral economics research by Drs. Benjamin Castleman and Lindsay Page, which showed an 11 percent increase in matriculation when sending personalized text message “nudges” to students during the summer between high school and college.

The program, which was open to all NCAN members, allows participating organizations to opt students into a Summer Melt Campaign, with messages designed by NCAN and personalized to students’ college choices. The messages include information about topics such as financial aid, tuition bills, class registration, and freshman orientation, and the program allows for students to text back and connect with advisors in real time. 

 “There is real value in a tool like text messaging that can streamline the work of these programs and enable them to reach more students who need support,” said Kim Cook, NCAN’s executive director. Because of the pilot’s success, NCAN and Signal Vine are discussing ways to continue their partnership and services for members so that organizations can use text messaging engagement with all types of students, all year long.

NCAN thanks the members who have participated in the pilot:

10,000 Degrees
Alabama Possible
American Student Assistance
Capital Partners for Education
College Possible
Communities in Schools Houston
Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School
College Success Foundation DC
I Know I Can
J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation
Motivating Our Students Through Experience
Partnership Scholars Program
Summer Search
Tyler Area Business Education Council
Utah System of Higher Education

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