Around 40-percent of high school graduates from low-income households who have been accepted into college fail to enroll in the fall. That’s according to Ascendium Education Group.
Ascendium Education Group is the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor. According to the group the reason students fail to enroll is because they must complete a series of crucial tasks. Those tasks include finalizing financial aid to the arranging campus housing. For low income students, they can be overwhelming tasks, especially without the support of their counselor. This is known as the “Summer Melt” and because of that, the AEG launched a $630,000 grant project, Text Steps, last fall.
The project is aimed at helping 13 school districts, including the La Crosse School District, reduce the summer melt by using text messaging, a platform that most students are familiar with. The Text Steps program began last month. Counselors in each district will send one text per week “nudging” students to reach the crucial deadlines.
Students may respond to the texts with questions or concerns, leading to conversations for students to make the final preparations.
Counselors in the districts say connecting with the students over the summer on their “preferred” platform is the key to getting them to college in the fall.
The 13 school districts participating include:
West Allis–West Milwaukee
More information on the Text Steps project can be found here.