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PPY is the new black: 4 ways texting will ensure effectiveness

2 min read

PPY = Prior-Prior Year Income Data for the FAFSA

Beginning in October 2016 (for aid applications for the 2017-18 award year), the White House will allow students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data.

The college decision process is changing in ways that rely on increased quality communication. Meanwhile student responsiveness (to traditional mediums) is at an all-time low.

Stop relying on voicemail and email - and start texting with families directly. Our clients are seeing a 50%-90% response rate from well-constructed text campaigns.

1) Early and often. Campuses must address perceptions related to cost early and often. Counselor to student texting ensures the affordability message is being received. Further, texting allows for an easy medium for questions and feedback from families.

2) Resetting internal clocks. Ensure families are aware and understand information related to PPY including fall application deadlines and scholarship schedules. Texting allows you to stay top of mind with your families as you guide them through the process.

3) Not driving blind. Admitted student qualification projects are sure to become more popular. Determining who is (and who is not) interested is vital. It not only allows you to stop spending time on the wrong apps or accepts - it also allows you to reallocate aid on the fly. A well crafted text campaign will give you insight into the heads for the vast majority of your students.

4) Accepts (with aid) are now long-term relationships. You very well may be admitting students earlier -and providing financial aid awards much earlier - which extends the amount of time you will need to communicate with families. Equip your counselors with helpful touch points via text to extend relationships with families. Texting is a wonderful and friendly way to check in, guide, and get feedback from families. Our clients have seen drastically higher yield rates for families who text compared to those who do not.

“Texting has allowed us to reach students we were never able to reach via phone. We have much cleaner data on active students which has allowed us to build even stronger relationships. Our counselors love this tool because it is so easy to use and it allows us to mix our communication methods”

Kelly L. Holloway
Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Mercer University


How to text students and parents without breaking privacy laws

You already manage student privacy when it comes to emails, phone calls and other channels. The good news is that texting is just another medium. Yes, there are a few special things to keep in mind, but it’s actually fairly simple to be in compliance. Here’s what you need to know.

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Communicating with parents of prospective students

There is no denying the importance of the parents’ role in college application process. Schools that find effective ways to communicate with parents will have an upper hand when it comes to college admissions. This guide will help you identify who you’re talking to and how to best earn parents’ trust.

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Best practices for texting students

If there’s one thing to take away from this blog, it’s this: Before you hit send, ask yourself, “Is this valuable information for students?”

While texting is a powerful way to engage prospective and current students, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some tips for effective SMS texting.

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