EWU begins using texting as main form of communication with prospective students

EWU begins using texting as main form of communication with prospective students

By Kaisa Siipola, Reporter

All it takes is two thumbs and a cell phone to make large impacts at EWU.

This way of thinking prompted Jens Larson, interim associate vice president for enrollment management, to reinvent the mode of communication between EWU and future students in spring 2017.

Most prospective students prefer texting because conversations can be infinite and they have more time to formulate and convey their thoughts, according to Larson.

“EWU uses an engagement model when texting students, allowing for a more effective, genuine experience,” Larson said. “Because messages are personal, timely, and relevant, the number of students who opt out has dramatically decreased.”

Since Larson has restructured university communications to texting, there has been improvement in numbers for enrollment and completed applications from 2017 to 2018.

According to Larson, enrollment for student population has increased by 1 percent and prospective students enrolled has increased by 7.5 percent excluding graduate students.

“Within the last year, texting has been a helpful mode of communication for EWU departments such as advising, housing and financial aid by helping them reach out to potential students,” Larson said.

“Texting has worked so well within departments responsible for interacting with prospective students,” Larson continued. “An opportunity exists to expand further into the student lifecycle, where texting could positively impact student success, graduation rates and young alumni engagement.”