Keep Youth on Top of Their Academics? Text Them.

In a 2015 Huffington Post article, author Sam Levine argues that we may be able to get students to participate more in time-sensitive or descision-making activities if we connect with them though text messages. Citing a number of state, federal and institutional campaigns recently using texting and emails to get stronger responses from audiences, Levine argues that reaching out via social media and texting garnered the most responses from audiences. Levine notes that this approach may be useful in reaching younger people as well: “each summer, 20 to 30 percent of students in urban areas who have accepted a spot at a college fail to attend simply because they do not fill out forms or complete other administrative tasks, researchers have found. But simply sending students text messages with reminders, researchers discovered, boosted college enrollment by 3.1 percentage points overall and 8.6 percent among low-income students.”

Because young people’s phones are so often in their hands, the use of texts and emails may offer schools and caregivers an opportunity to more readily connect with students in ways that can benefit both parties. Reminders regarding academic programs, counseling opportunities or tutoring may reach more youth through the use of digital media, and may increase program participation.