8/24/2014 10:14:43 AM
Incoming college students not only face academic challenges, but also struggle to navigate the required paperwork. New students must fill out forms for financial aid, registration, housing, courses, and meal plans. For first-generation college students without a parent or guardian already familiar with the system - the mounting paperwork can present a major barrier to higher education.
To help our incoming college students, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education started its "Summer Nudging" initiative to help guide students through the process. Students who sign up for the program get regular text message reminders with dates and deadlines for critical registration paperwork.
The text message intervention is proven to work. Schools in Dallas, Boston, and Philadelphia have all increased college enrollment rates among low-income and first-generation students through text messages. In Boston, it increased the rate of students enrolling into college by 5.1 percent. Text messages combined with regular sessions with a guidance counselor increased student enrollment by 23 percent!
The summer nudging initiative is a great, low-cost way to help all Minnesota college students navigate the higher education system and get the education they need to succeed.
This year, we took other major steps to make college more accessible and affordable - freezing college tuition, increasing accountability of college administrators, and providing additional state grant aid. Efforts like these will help ensure all Minnesota kids are prepared for good jobs and great futures.