NCAN Connects with Students Via Text Message to Reduce Summer Melt

How a college access non-profit leverages Modern Campus Message to increase matriculation


The National College Access Network (NCAN) and its member organizations use Modern Campus Message over the summer to support their students’ transition from high school to college and beat Summer Melt. The summer intervention was based on the behavioral economics research by Drs. Benjamin Castleman and Lindsay Page. The research shows an 11% increase in matriculation as a result of sending personalized text message “nudges” to students during the summer between high school and college.


The Implementation of Modern Campus Message

NCAN designed a Summer Melt campaign with pre-written text messages over a period of 16 weeks that were personalized to students’ college choices. Member organizations could choose to opt in to the program to support their students. The messages included information on financial aid, tuition bills, class registration, new-student orientation and more. Students could text back and connect with advisors for help in real time. Sixteen organizations joined the Summer Melt campaign, with a total of 2,827 students served.



The program showed impressive results, with student engagement rates of 75% and an average response rate of 64% per message. Sixty percent of students were highly engaged, meaning they responded to a majority of the text messages from their advisors. NCAN will continue its summer melt texting initiative with its members and Message each summer.



Texting the Summer Melt Away

How Text Messaging Can Increase Marticulation at Your College or University

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cover page of the Texting the Summer Melt Away white paper


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