School Text Messaging Service: All The Benefits, Use Cases & Templates For You!

Last Updated January 17, 2023

Joining university as a student transformed my views on how educational institutions could operate. More than anything else, I found my university to be considerate about us, the young adults studying there. The one seemingly simple but undoubtedly effective initiative they had adopted was a school text messaging service.

I say ‘effective’ because of one incident in particular. 

It was just before the Christmas break, and all assignments and projects had piled on. I’m usually an organized person, and for that week, I’d made a schedule for all deadlines. For the most part, I was following it pretty well. But there was a looming feeling that I’d forgotten something.

The feeling persisted for a couple of days before ping; I got a text notification.


I had submitted the online copy but had totally forgotten about the hard copy submission! 

I got the text message one day in advance– just enough time to get the assignment printed and put it in my folder.

If the school text messaging service reminded me about an important submission, similar services help students with motivations, nudges, and updates concerning their academic lives. 

  • 84% of students claim that school text reminders aid them in getting everything done for college.
  • 85% found that such reminders inform them of things they didn’t realize they must do.
  • 86% of students claim that school text messages prompted them to do tasks they hadn’t yet done.

(From personal experience, I can vouch for that!)

So, it is clear that students appreciate schools texting them. But how about you, the decision-maker in a school, college, or university? How does texting students impact you? What are the use cases? And how do you implement texting on such a large scale?

This blog answers all these questions.

Common use cases for school text messaging service

Although emails and circulars have been the standard for student communication, they have low open rates and are often overlooked. On the other hand, text messages are five times more likely to be read than an email.

It also makes it easy for institutions to share information regarding admissions, remind students about deadlines, and alert students during emergencies. Thus, it proves to be the right channel to communicate with and engage students.

Let’s discuss eight ways to use text messaging services for schools and universities to reach out to your student body.

Help streamline student recruitment

When it comes to recruiting or fostering students’ engagement within your respective institution, students prefer to receive the necessary information via text and want to have a personal connection with the sender.

Using a text messaging service for schools, you can streamline recruitment in this way:

  • Send mass texts about deadlines, documentation, and other administrative details.
  • Send links to registration forms (e.g., for dorms).
  • Send reminder text messages about availing financial aid or registering for classes, etc.
  • Use conversational texting for hand-holding during the process.
  • Use P2P texting to nurture interested parties and encourage them to take the next steps in the admission process.

School text template:

Hi Amanda, this is Austin from Duke University. I saw you were interested in our marketing program. We would love to discuss your goals over a call. Would you be interested?

Strengthen the admission process

Students depend heavily on family members, friends, or high school counselors to help them get through the admission process. Without which getting into and through all four years of college becomes hard. But not many families can help their kids make these decisions, and a lot of them find it frustrating.

Setting up a mass texting program that connects high school seniors and current college students with peer counselors and college coaches across the nation helps strengthen the admission process.

The college coaches or counselors can send out reminders about the deadlines around important milestones in the process like the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and college applications. They can also offer guidance for students who have difficulties with current courses, housing, financial aid, and more. CallHub’s one-on-one texting platform scales and humanizes the way your institution communicates with students and can help you build better relationships with Generation Z as they navigate to and through college.

Template for school SMS service:
Hey Raymond, this is Denis from NYU. I am in the junior year of the BA Music Production course. Seeing your resume, I’m excited to have you at the uni. I am your assigned buddy here and I can help you with your admission process & first weeks here. Feel free to reply to this number if you have any questions.

Engage alumni with your school/college

In a 2020 study, 90% of alumni professionals confessed that they “need to do more” to engage former students. With a school text message service, you can ensure the engagement and involvement of students even before they graduate.

An engaged student who enjoyed their time at the school and found value in your courses is sure to continue being engaged as an alum too. But, your text messaging services for school will be terminated after they graduate. 

To ensure the connection continues, get them opted in to your alumni text messaging services. Offer incentives that would benefit and provide them value as graduated students.

After-school text message template to engage alumni:
Hey Jason, congratulations on graduating from St Stefan’s! Did you know, St Stefans has a strong alumni network that gives former students:Job updates and career opportunitiesSpecial event invitesCampus benefits and more.
Text ALUM to 56667 to opt in to the network.

Note that although you have an opt-in from a contact as a student, you may require a different opt-in from the same contact to continue messaging after they are no longer part of your school register.

Related reading: Alumni Engagement Strategy & Best Practices: 9 Top Ways to Nurture Your Network  

Use surveys for alumni fundraising and engagement

Getting your alumni to commit to attending your fundraiser may be easy but following up with them to ensure they do so is definitely not a walk in the park. You need to keep track of who has agreed to or denied your request and look through spreadsheets of data to follow up with them. Frustrating right? Well, you can easily solve this problem by creating polls and surveys.

Text surveys are a fine way to initiate a two-way conversation, record responses, identify their interests, and make follow-ups based on them. You can solicit donations or get alumni to attend your event by reaching out to them based on their interest or past involvement.

CallHub’s P2P texting tool enables you to conduct surveys based on multiple choices and tag respondents accordingly. Sync these with your CRM and shoot surveys based on tags.

For example, if you know that a specific alumni group were former university athletes (based on previous surveys), you can target them for fundraisers benefiting your athletic teams. Those who replied saying they were part of the orchestra can be targeted for fundraisers benefiting cultural infrastructure.

In this way, survey texts make it easier for you to make notes and follow-up on commitments. The information collected through surveys can be used to reach out to alumni and to keep them engaged.

Template for school texting:
Hey Rita, hope you are doing well. As a fellow former member of our school’s illustrious quiz team, I have bad news for you. Our chem lab is suffering due to lack of funds. We’re raising funds for its wear and tear. Would you like to help us?  

Schedule reminders for required books And materials

Most students don’t look at the syllabus before their first day and show up unprepared for class. To make the most of the first day, professors can send an SMS broadcast to their students with a list of materials and assignments they should bring.

You should also keep in mind that professors are busy people and they have umpteen number of tasks on their mind. They might even forget to send a text. CallHub’s scheduling feature lets professors schedule text messages to be sent later and set up recurring text campaigns if needed.

School text template:
Hi Sharon, this is your Geography professor, Dr. Hemant Richard. I’m sharing a list of books required for the first term this year. Do make sure you have a copy for our first class on 3 Sept, 10 am. <link>

Keep students updated and ensure they meet deadlines

With school life being busier than ever, students aren’t the best to meet deadlines. But that’s not something to worry about. You can put a stop to the tardiness with a simple text message reminder. Text messages can be used to:

  • Send first-year students a welcome message and back-to-school tips on their first day.
  • Inform the student body about upcoming events and requirements for attendance.
  • Make sure that students have met class enrollment deadlines.
  • Alert students of class time changes and cancellations.
  • Collect feedback from students to identify areas that need adjusting.
  • Remind students to return borrowed books so that others can make use of them.
  • Promote extracurricular activities to connect students with the school, relieve stress, build real-world skills, and form lasting friendships.

Template for mass text messaging for schools:
Hi Lea, this is a reminder that your Finance and Budgeting assignment for Q1 is due on 4 April 2021 at 2 pm. Any delay will be marked as failure.

Keep parents informed about progress

Schools often convey a student’s progress to respective parents. This ensures there’s no communication gap, and parents or the administration can schedule meetings to discuss the child’s performance.

Emails were traditionally used in such cases. However, as we have seen, they have a low open rate. Moreover, if a simple text can do the job, why not implement this quick and convenient option?

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Rent a dedicated keyword for school-parent communications from CallHub. Promote it with parents.
  2. Give a clear understanding of what to expect from your texts.
  3. Set auto-responses for when a parent texts the keywords. The auto-responses should collect more information about the parent, e.g., ward’s name and class.
  4. Send a text defining the nature of future messages (as a reminder of the expectations you set), ways to opt-out, and alternate ways of contacting the school.

Template for school-parent texts:
Dear parent, results for grades 6-8 are out now. We have a record 100% pass rate this time! Check your ward’s grades here <link>. (Required: student id & birthdate for password). 

Read Next: Use School Calling Software for Easier Parent Outreach

Text alerts for emergencies

In instances of emergencies, schools need to send an alert to a large number of contacts. The matter is urgent, and one simply cannot waste time sending the alert manually. 

With a 98% open rate, texts come to the rescue.

Additionally, the Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report crimes in and around the campuses. Mass text messaging for schools can help you report such instances promptly. 

And texting tools come in handy. Mass texting tools like CallHub can auto-send one text per second. That’s 3600 texts in an hour! If you create multiple campaigns with the same text (simply duplicate the original campaign and target a different contact list!)

Thus, with a mass texting tool, you can send emergency alerts or broadcasts to your contacts in a considerably short time.   

Template for school emergency text alert:
ALERT! School closed tomorrow (7 Oct, Friday) due to severe weather. Enjoy the long weekend and stay safe. 

Read more: 6 Things You’re Missing Out On Without a School Text Alert System.

If you’ve already adopted a school text messaging service, these use cases can help you make the most of it. If you’re not yet convinced, the following benefits will do it for you.

How does a school text messaging service benefit you?

Text messaging services for schools don’t just benefit students or parents. They help you with retention and student involvement in extracurricular activities. Here are some of the benefits of such a school texting service.

Retain more applications into admissions

One of the most daunting things in my academic life was my university admissions process. Of course, the course itself was super challenging. But the anxiety about leaving my home country, getting all the documents in place, and not knowing what to expect was pressing down on me.

Of course, here too, a school text messaging service helped me.

My ‘buddy’ answered all my questions, gave me tips on what to carry, and shared insights on campus life. This uni was in my top 3 choices anyway. But such mentoring finalized my admission there.

Similarly, for you, a text messaging service will help nurture applications into confirmed admissions.

Keep your campus community safe

During an emergency or a crisis, reaching out to your students and staff members over email or phone call is not viable since emails may not be read, and you can’t call every student in a short time. Rather you should send out simple Yes/No questions to your campus community to make sure they’re safe or not. And then follow-up with the ones who’ve indicated that they’re in danger.

For example, you can send an alert to your staff and students asking them if they’re on campus. For those who reply “No,” their response will be recorded, and they will receive an automated response asking them not to go near campus. If they respond with a “Yes,” they will receive a reply asking them where they are on campus and then give them the specific evacuation route.

The replies to the initial question are set before sending it. This makes it easy for your administrative staff to make sure the evacuation personnel assists your campus community.

Increase parent responses

By using tools like peer-to-peer texting, you can send out hundreds of texts within a few seconds and increase parent responses by engaging in one-on-one conversations with them. It allows schools to have meaningful conversations with parents and record data based on their answers so you can send relevant messages. 

Personalization of texts is easy with tags, for example, {first_name}, which will fill up the parent’s first name in the message when sent. In addition, you can send messages using a local area code to reduce the number of parents who unsubscribe.

Increase student engagement

For a school text messaging service to engage students, it must: 

  1. Send regular and valuable updates
  2. Initiate conversations (e.g., via surveys)
  3. And provide valuable incentives to students.

An engaged student is more likely to participate in extracurricular activities. They are involved with the school or college in the real sense and add value to your institution with their participation. 

They can also prove to be active alumni who contribute to your school/college’s functions in the future. They are more likely to attend your event, volunteer as mentors for future students, donate funds or fund your activities even after their graduation.

Centralize communications

A school text messaging service centralizes all text communications with students and parents. It can be a single repository where all your past P2P and mass texts are stored. When you invest in CallHub, you also get centralized data of each campaign and how it performed.

Through analytics, you can know:

  • The date and time when each message was sent.
  • Message status (delivered/undelivered/failed etc.)
  • Message direction (inbound/outbound)
  • Agent and ID that sent the message.
  • Incoming message ID, etc.
SMS metrics on CallHub

Many schools and universities in the United States offer their students innovative ways to connect through text messaging. Now it’s your turn to do the same. These are just a few examples of how text messaging services for schools can help build better relationships, streamline admissions, communicate with parents, and improve the overall student experience.

Want to try out a school text messaging service to increase engagement? Check out CallHub for your school’s text message marketing for free, or reach out to us at [email protected].

Feature image source: Csaba Balazs/Unsplash.